Images of floodwaters in America's south evoke memories of similar plights in towns across the country — even in faraway places such as Grand Forks, N.D. (search)

The people of Grand Forks dealt with massive flooding back in April of 1997, when the Red River devoured much of the town.

"We did lose communities. We lost the River Heights community, Sherlock Park, Gregg's Landing, Lincoln Park..." Virginia Regorrah told FOX News.

Lincoln Park in particular once had almost 300 homes. Today, it's just a park.

Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown empathizes with the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. "To see what they're going through brings back a lot of vivid, vivid memories," he said.

The damage was a lot like what's happening on the Gulf coast right now: homes destroyed, people displaced, businesses flooded.

But perhaps Grand Forks can offer an example of what's to come for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

"You couldn't re-build below the flood plain (search). You couldn't have basements below the flood plain, where people wanted to re-do their homes. Some homes you had to completely take away from people," Mayor Brown said.

In some cases the government made decisions for the people. Jim Shulind and his wife wanted to rebuild their home in its original location, but were prevented from doing so by the government.

"Being the independent people we are, especially in this part of the country, when somebody like the government tells you 'no' it's kinda hard to swallow," Jim Shulind said. "But, you've gotta get over it and get on with your life."

The town of Grand Forks decided to learn from the experience and put safety first, building 15 miles of flood barriers which, eight years later, are about 75 percent completed now.

Shulind said some of his former neighbors have never gotten over the flood and are still angry. That anger, says Mayor Brown, surfaced for some folks in the years following the disaster.

"More domestic violence (search), more dysfunctional families, more spouse abuse and things like that — because the anger does come out," he said.

But the Mayor said that while there will be plenty of difficult days ahead for the gulf coast, there is hope. Grand Forks has recovered, and the Mayor said he knows the Gulf coast someday will too.

Click on the video box above to see a report by FOX News' Steve Brown.