Several communities within Knife River Corp.’s business territories – central North Dakota and western Iowa – are in crisis-management mode to hold back the rising Missouri River waters. Hundreds of Knife River employees from seven states have come together to save homes, businesses and whole neighborhoods.
In Bismarck and Mandan, N.D., waters continue to rise as releases from the upstream Garrison Dam increase daily. Knife River is hauling materials to construct massive clay dikes and provide sand for thousands of volunteers who are sandbagging day and night. Employees from Knife River divisions in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota converged on these communities to drive equipment 24 hours a day.
“This is a very tragic time for North Dakota and Iowa as families are being evacuated and homes abandoned,” said Knife River President and CEO Bill Schneider. “However, the spirit and strength of the residents in these areas is tremendous. To see strangers becoming friends over sandbagging efforts is a common occurrence. Knife River employees are a huge part of this massive work and I am proud of their efforts and proud to call them co-workers.”
Downstream in Sioux City, Iowa, employees at Knife River – Midwest Division and Knife River’s Energy Services Division Jebro Inc. are working round the clock to surround Jebro’s facilities, which are directly on the banks of the Missouri River. In addition, Midwest Division employees from Iowa and South Dakota are hauling clay and sand for neighborhoods in immediate danger of flooding. Many Jebro employees have already been evacuated from their homes.
“Knife River and its employees will be a part of this flood fight until the last house isn’t in danger any more in our communities,” Schneider said. “I am glad that we can be there for our friends, neighbors and our own employees who are impacted by this unprecedented flooding.”