Published On: Wed, Jul 20th, 2011

Flood brings former resident home again

Nicki Addison and her children, Taylor and Jake, have escaped the Missouri River flood waters this summer by moving back to Nicki’s hometown. They expect to return to their Dakota Dunes home sometime yet this fall.

HARTINGTON — Hartington proved to be a safe place to escape the turmoil caused by this year’s Missouri River flood waters.
Niki Addison, 1989 Hartington High graduate, and her two children left their home in the Dakota Dunes and moved into Hartington for the summer months to escape the flood.
The Addison family relocated most of their belongings from their Dakota Dunes home to avoid the threat of rising flood waters from the Missouri River.

“We packed up almost everything and put it in storage,” Addison said. “We don’t know when we will be able to go back – first they said two months then four. It could be six months – we don’t know.”
Addison’s husband stayed on in their home with just the bare necessities and has been working seven days a week at his job at the Port Neal Plant, which has been struggling with flood problems of its own.
Flood water had not reached the Addison home in the Meadows portion of Dakota Dunes, but the threat of flooding was evident and the family was feeling the turmoil caused by nearby flood waters.
“We were not told to evacuate our home, but there was a lot of chaos from the flooding. Military personnel are on guard as to who is going in and out. Helicopters were flying over dropping sandbags in the river. Semis were coming in and out with sand bags,” Addison said. “It wasn’t a good place for kids to be — it was starting to affect them. I wanted to take them somewhere so they could be comfortable.”
When Addison was considering a location where she could take her kids so they would feel safe and have a good summer – she thought of the town where she grew up.
Addison was familiar with what Hartington had to offer – her father, Don Flakus, had served as the superintendent of the Hartington Public School for a number of years and her mother, Emily Flakus, had been a teacher at the Wynot School.
Addison and her two children are now spending the summer months in a friend’s house on Lemon Street, which had been vacant.
Her kids took full advantage of everything the community has to offer.
Addison said she was so happy when the coaches gave their approval for 10 year-old Jake to play baseball and for Taylor, who is eight, to be on the softball team.
Both of the kids are also taking them to Hartington. They are begging me to enroll them in school here.”
Addison and the kids will be able to enjoy their surroundings for another month or so.
Addison has to be back to her teaching job at LeMars, Iowa by the middle of August and the Dakota Valley School where the kids attend will be starting around the same time.
The Addisons are not sure if they will move everything back into their home in the Dakota Dunes when they return.
It is still up in the air where they will be living – they are thinking about checking on an apartment to rent.
One thing is for sure though – they enjoyed their summer in Hartington.
Now that Addison has been back for a few months – she would love it if her family could move to Hartington and make their home here year round.
“I love Hartington – it has been awesome,” Addison said. “Everyone has made us feel welcome.”