HARWOOD, N.D. — As tears flowed from Kathy Auka's eyes, the Rush River was rising around the "retirement" home she's been personally building with her husband.

"Words can't explain what I saw coming up," she said fighting back tears.

Auka said Cass County actually dropped off about a thousand sandbags Thursday afternoon.

She didn't think they would need them.

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A couple hours later that all changed.

"It was about a quarter of a mile away, and within 15 minutes it was up to the house," she recalled.

Nearly 2 feet of water surrounded the home within minutes.

Just as fast as the water rose, neighbors and volunteers from local church groups flooded the property to hold back the flood waters.

The county chipped in another 3,200 sandbags.

"No words can ever express, knowing we have a community that their faith is strong enough to chip in," she said.

"They are neighbors, you always help the neighbors, that's what we do out here," explained neighbor Don Krogh.

Even he could not believe how fast the water rose.

"I wasn't expecting it; I drove around earlier today, and I saw the water was high, but I didn't really have any concerns about it," he said.

It's believed an ice jam caused the flash flood.

The river sits about a mile and a half from the home.

Auka said this happened in 2011 too, but that was more gradual.

"Not this fast at all, not this fast," said her husband, Dan Auka.

The couple is thankful that their dream home is safe.

"I knew God was going to take care of it; I knew He was going to provide people," Kathy Auka said.