MINOT, N.D. – Approximately 10 feet of water flooded nearly 20 percent of the neighborhood throughout the city, leaving more than 4,000 homes inundated by the flooding here, June 25. With the Souris River expected to crest, city officials scramble to implement a recovery strategy hoping to endure the high water preventing the loss of thousands of homes already damaged by flooding. At 8 feet above the major flood stage, the water appears to be leveling off. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Lopez)
MINOT, N.D. – The scene from inside the levee system around Minot leaves little question as to the devastating effects of flood waters on homes and businesses here, Jun. 25. With water levels staying steady, the city of Minot has a long way to go until recovery can begin. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Keith Ballard)
by Airman 1st Class Jessica McConnell
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs
6/29/2011 - MINOT, N.D. -- With the Souris River's water-level receding to a measure of 1,560.47 feet June 28, many of Minot's impacted residents, Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen, and their families, are eager to start on the path to recovery, which city officials stated was going to be a very long-term process.
Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman started the conference by commenting on the amount of work going on behind the scenes to help the magic city recover.
"As we fight this fight, we are also feverishly working with federal and state officials for a coordinated recovery effort for the magic city," the mayor said.
The mayor also commented on the growing traffic on the 83 Bypass, causing many to endure a two-hour travel home from work at the base.
"Broadway [a main artery through the city of Minot] will remain closed until the river reaches approximately 14,000 cfs, which officials expect to happen on July 6," said the mayor. "There is too much of a risk in letting traffic flow through at this time. Every day, we are reassessing what we will do with Broadway."
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said that even though the city continues to experience difficulty with water levels, as well as the current utility situation, he assured the audience that there is more and more discussion of recovery and help with each passing day.
The governor also proudly introduced the newly appointed Maj. Gen. Murray Sagsveen, North Dakota National Guard, as the head coordinator of statewide flood recovery efforts. General Sagsveen will assist city officials and other leaders throughout North Dakota who will direct local flood recovery efforts. The general has experience in this line of work, as he was the director of the 1997 Grand Forks, N.D., flood recovery efforts.
Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, the North Dakota National Guard adjutant general, emphasized that the North Dakota National Guard and Airmen from Minot AFB, will continue to support and work in the city of Minot, and said are here for the long haul.
"We will be bringing additional water purification units to provide water for the city," he said. "We're ready to meet whatever requirements we can with the personnel and equipment we have."
For more information, call the 24 hour flood hotline at 858-9366.
To make a donation, visit www.ndcf.net/flood or call 1-800-605-5252.