26 June 2011
Last updated at 05:20
Parts of the town Minot, in the US state of North Dakota, are under water after the Souris River burst its banks. Photographs: Matt Novak.
Matt Novak went to Minot to visit his grandparents. Here, residents look out at the Souris River, locally known as the Mouse River.
Heavy rains and melting snow have raised water levels in Canadian reservoirs in the Souris River basin in recent weeks, forcing unprecedented water releases further south in North Dakota.
"People were buying water in the lead-up to the flood, and we boiled water to clean the dishes. The local TV news says that the water is probably not safe to drink," explained Mr Novak.
"Thankfully my grandparents live on a hill," says Mr Novak. "The main concern is access to services. The nearest grocery store is flooded and there are reports that it takes four hours to reach the pharmacy and grocery store on the South side of Minot."
"Homes are getting flooded and their contents are making their way into the street," says Mr Novak.
"These people have bought sandbags to shield their house. The water was about a block away when this picture was taken, it may have already reached their house by now," Mr Novak explains.
People are also finding alternative ways to block the water and prevent it from entering their homes.
"The National Guard and the air force are here and they're helping with sandbags and making sure people aren't getting themselves into danger," says Matt Novak
"It looks as though the National Guard are putting orange ribbons on the doors of evacuated homes as markers," he says.
Currently local schoolchildren are on summer break, avoiding further disruption to their classes.
"My Mom lives in Minneapolis but she grew up in Minot. Here she is hugging her cousin Marsha who lives in Minot. My mom has been here taking care of my grandparents who have been ill," explains Matt Novak.