Viewers Turn to KXMC to Assess Flood Damage to Their Homes

By Merrill Knox 

In the wake of severe flooding in North Dakota, a tiny family-owned station based in Minot is becoming a source of real-time information for area homeowners, who are tuning in for one vital piece of news: the status of their home.

KXMC, which has been in continuing live coverage with their news staff of only 15 people, has been airing shaky aerial videos shot from military helicopters. According to The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter, viewers that have fled their homes have turned to KXMC’s Facebook page, requesting that the station air the videos again so they can try to spot their homes — and assess how much damage has been done since they left.

“They don’t want to see it, but they want to see it,” Perry Olson, the station’s morning anchor, told Stelter.

The coverage has been largely driven by the Olson family, with Perry’s father, Jim Olson, anchoring in the afternoons after Perry signs off. Tim Olson, Perry’s younger brother, has been lending a hand in the control room, and Carolyn Olson, their sister, has been answering phones in the newsroom, which has not yet seen any flood damage.