THOMPSON, Minn. (NBC) -- You could call it a river too treacherous to cross, if it were a river at all and not Vermillion Street in Thomson.
"I just can't believe it."
Bertie O'Brien didn't wait around long after that.
Leaving to join the rest of her neighbors rousted from their sleep wednesday morning and told to get out as the thomson reservoir spilled over its banks, embarking on a reverse public works project.
John Issacson was just stubborn enough to stay behind, left to watch as the cascade rearranged his neighborhood, chewing through streets and biting off pieces of his neighbors' houses, two of them still inside.
"Al Johnson, he's a photographer and his wife are in there."
Alan and Linda Johnson found themselves in precarious spot.
"They called me this morning said they were doing okay, but the water was coming quite a bit in their house," says Issacson.
Gingerly, Alan tried to walk toward our camera position before thinking better of it and turning back.
Minutes later came another way out.
A coast guard search and rescue team dropping in to bring the Johnsons out.