NDSU Magazine logo - Spring 2009

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Vol. 9, No. 2


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High Waters and Flood Fighters

High waters and flood fighters

This photograph was taken by Dan Reetz, a North Dakota State University graduate student, April 3, 2009, at 7:30 p.m., near Main Avenue in Moorhead, looking southwest over the flooding Red River, which was at 35.7 feet that day, after a crest of 40.8 feet on March 28. Reetz took thousands of photographs during the flood. Ironically, many of his pictures appear, like this one, to capture beauty and peace. He calls it "astheticising disaster." This picture is actually a composite of fourteen images. Reetz used his index finger as a sort of monopod for his camera and rotated slightly to take a series of shots to then compose this panorama.

High Waters and Flood Fighters

Photographs above are by Dan Koeck, NDSU's photographer on assignment to capture images of people working to save the community. When the request went out to NDSU students to line up for bus rides to various locations to fill sandbags or help build sandbag dikes, thousands of students appeared, and worked long hours. Koeck says each day, as the rivers were rising, he felt the intensity increase, and worked to record the experiences.

Koeck took only a few photographs of water, but at dawn on March 28, he took a picture of water under the Main Avenue bridge. The photograph, published in the New York Times on March 29, is on the back cover.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.