Water tops Minot, N.D., dikes as residents seem resigned to major flooding
Minot's Troy Erickson and his neighbors have built a dike around their homes and plan to ride out the flood, he says.
June 22nd, 2011
02:25 PM ET

Water tops Minot, N.D., dikes as residents seem resigned to major flooding

[Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET] Sirens were sounding Wednesday in Minot, North Dakota, urging residents to evacuate in the face of major flooding.

The sirens came on the heels of news that water had begun flowing over the city's dikes, which are leaking in some places.

[Posted at 1:52 p.m. ET] Residents in Minot, North Dakota, appear resigned to face major flooding as water has now begun flowing over the city's dikes, which are leaking in some places.

Mayor Curt Zimbelman told a local radio station at about 11 a.m. local time (noon ET) that he expects the evacuation alarms to sound within the hour. There are roughly 12,000 people in the evacuation zone in and around Minot.

Residents in the community have been given until Wednesday evening to evacuate because of what state Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong called "historic proportions of water." There are also concerns that the Souris River may be rising more rapidly than expected, Fong said.

The National Weather Service predicted record flooding as heavy area rains and dam releases cause the river to swell at Minot.

The Souris River, which locals call "The Mouse" after the French translation, flows through the center of town, and there are several homes and businesses along its low-lying banks.

Fearing the main levees won't hold back the waters, emergency workers have begun constructing local levees around a school and the Broadway Street bridge, a main thoroughfare in town.

Residents appear to be heeding evacuation warnings. In a sign that they're taking the flooding seriously, some residents are pulling up carpets because it will be easier to remove now than it will be after their homes are inundated with water.

Troy Erickson, 44, a lifelong North Dakota resident who has lived in Minot since 1995, lives across the street from the perimeter of the evacuation zone and said he plans to ride out the storm.

His neighbor has a bucket loader, and they have distributed several loads of sand and gravel around four houses, which are home to 13 people, he said. They have "lowered a couple hundred sandbags" on top of the mixture, he said.

"We've got more sandbags coming to have just in case we need to build it higher," Erickson said. "It if happens, it happens."

He said he's "a little bit" frightened because he's never been in this situation before, though he was a toddler during the flood of 1969.

soundoff (172 Responses)
  1. coletta

    This is our country and we should be taking care of it .. Yes I was a NoDak for many years and I have been watching everything about the flood. I can't believe how long it took you to start covering it. Our president gave money to all these other countries, how about this one now. Also his wife over in Africa!!! How about us at home. Spending millions of dollars on this trip when she should be here in the US doing the same thing. They say its going to cost 90 million dollars to rebuild Minot, come on Obama help them out!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • lexrn

      So...besides a way to rant about politics, how is this anyone's fault? Did President Obama build the levees? Was there a dictate prohibiting the state or other defense people from assisting? Did he raise his hand and say "Let it rain"? Did you do the same ranting when Bush sent the troops to other countries? Just plain silly.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • RichG

      Shutup already!

      June 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot.Dave

      Sorry Coletta, NoDak has normal Americans there – ZERO hope you'll get "Hope and Change" there. He has shown he'd rather send $1,400,000,000.00 to the 140 million Muslins that HATE us in Pakistan every year :-(((

      June 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot.Dave

      Don't worry Coletta – its clear lexrn & RichG don't live there nor anyplace that has flooded or had a disaster. They are likely Coasties (east or west) and drive ANYTHING but an American car. (No, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are not American. They are assembled here from high value parts made in Asia.)

      June 22, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      One can only hope, but I'm guessing that because North Dakota is mostly white and quite well-off compared to the rest of the country, that Obama and/or the federal government will do nothing to help. Sad, but true. But, you know what? The people of North Dakota are resilient and proud and will rise from the waters if they have to without help from anyone. It's also the only place where people out mowing their yards or raking up leaves wave "hello" as you drive through their neighborhoods. And, I don't live there! They are friendly in a time when no one trusts anyone anymore. Not even to say hello or wave. My heart goes out to these good people.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      CNN reported on this yesterday. How early did you think they should get this story out?
      What does ANYTHING you're b!tch!ing about have to do with the impending flood? What makes you think the area won't be declared a disaster area by your governor and help will be on its way as usual? Ah, yeah. That trip to Africa will cause everyone to ignore Minot, ND. How intelligent- not!

      June 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • dylan

      NUKE CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Donna

    I was fortunate enough to celebrate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 2005 by driving along the Lewis and Clark Trail which took me along the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Missouri had the most incredible conservation areas along the river esp. Columbia Bottoms outside St. Louis. As part of my research before taking the trip, I found an article on the effect that restoring natural wetlands after the big floods of the early 1990s had on reducing the effects of flooding. It is definitely something to consider when looking at the costs of damages from flooding.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Elwood Gjgjgjgjgjguyiyfjfksj, Jr.

    Very Norman Rockwell-ish type photo there, Jim. A good one.

    Much respect goes out to Troy and his neighbors from me for their hard work in trying to protect their property. I wish them the best, and my heart goes out to them.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • nick

      I was excited to see this, because I used to work with Troy when I lived in Minot. He is the definition of a hard-working, "full-of-care" american. Rockwell-esque sums it up to the point. This guy cares, Im sure he is working his ass off to benefit not just him, but his neighbors. go troy go!

      June 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rose

    Obama doesn't care about North Dakota. He knows the state won't be in his column in the next election. He'd rather send more money to the banksters.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red Dragon

      So this is about politics?

      June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sorry

    Sorry NoDak's, but we need to fund the purchase of JDAM's to drop on Libya instead of help out you folk. Surely you don't want our foreign policy elite to balk in their attempts to forge a liberal world order.

    It's pretty pathetic we can't take care of our own due to adventurism out of D.C.


    June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charlene Schoff

    CNN you need to learn how to pronounce " Souris" instead of going on TV and sounding stupid ! Show some respect to all of us who live in this flood zone !

    June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teddy

      Maybe you shouldn't have chosen to live in a flood zone.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • NDsoldier

      That comment proves that your a total clown face. The United States thrived off cities that surrounded rivers and railroads. I dont know if you think we got here by tour bus in the 1800's, but your sorely mistaken.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TriChief

    Where is all the outrage! Where is the media in all of this? When New Orleans was under water the media was all ovet it. OH wait, their boy in the the White House, all is well.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      Their "boy"??? Could you be any more bigoted in your stupid comment?
      CNN will likely send someone like they usually do- AFTER it floods.
      And RE: New Orleans. That was a very large flood that left people stranded for days; dead bodies floating; on and on. How can you compare an area being evacuating 12,000 to over a million in the New Orleans metro area?
      Sounds like your biggest gripe is with the "boy". Nice.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBof

      I feel for the people of Minot. I really do. But you're an idiot and your comments are not needed.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George McMannis

    I was stationed at Minot AFB when the town flooded in 1971. You build a town in a valley with a river running through it. What do you expect will happen? The town flooded 40 years ago and it will be flooding 40 years from now. Keep shoveling.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • nathanp8

      You, sir, are an idiot. People at this very moment are being uprooted from their homes, and your only comment is, "This is what you get."

      Get a life.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ndboy

      George you best alert them to stop building in California, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Hawaii ah well all states that have been hit by a disaster.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      Yes, Minot flooded a lot in the late 60's and early 70's. Then the Corps of Engineers straightened out the river to prevent the water from being trapped in loops throughout the city. There hadn't been a flood since then until now. I lived next to the river for 15 years from 1990 to 2005 and never had to worry about it.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AJ

    We are North Dakotan's!! We don't riot, we don't loot, we don't start cars on fire. We pick up our shovels, we pick up our neighbors belongings and we will pick up our lives as well. We will stand together and together we will be fine. Be proud and stay safe and we'll see you all when you get back home. Stole this from a friend.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Twt

      I heard a quick clip about this on the radio Monday morning on my way to work. I want to cry for the citizens of this community & what they must be going through. These folks need help & prayers, not nasty remarks because they have chosen to live there. Would love to think this is all a nightmare & goes away quickly without causing harm to anyone.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Koch

      To AJ, Thank you Mam or Sir, (AJ is genderless) You are a TRUE American. Stand up, face the wind. Most of the rest of us will stand behind you, and do what we can to assist. Count on it!

      Good Luck, God bless.

      June 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hillary Davis


    June 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Armed Texan

    Residents of Minot need to remember this next year come election time. To all of you who voted for Obama, you are now reaping what you have sown.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red Dragon

      And the drought is doing well for you?


      June 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • vistor21

      I think what is funny about this comment is that historically, North Dakota votes for president go to a Republican. Goes to show you that Armed Texan hasn't met my Dad.... Armed North Dakotan....:)

      June 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • BBof

      Just like the 2 wars Bush started. That did America a lot of good. Moron.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rhodes

    there are many interesting comments here and elsewhere on he net that smackof more conservative politics... Where is all that at election time?

    June 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hillary Davis

    OMG Nature has NOTHING to do with Politics! WIth the exception of the leaders encouraging others to act. AND WHAT about Politicians in NORTH DAKOTA???? They're too busy fighting over something as stupid as the Fighting Sioux logo at UND rather than help the actual residents of North Dakota, versus a few people waiving money in politicians faces. So rather than the COUNTRY's leader be at fault, if anyone's to blame, be angry with local politicians. But regardless, that doesn't fix Nature's Wrath!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Frank

    Didn't the Bible mention something along the lines of 'great rivers will flood' in Revelations?

    June 22, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • NDsoldier

      Didnt Harold Camping have a stroke?

      June 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lvanderiet

    Remember, people, Obummer will not help you! He is hoping these kinds of disasters will keep happening so that it makes it easier for him to move us into Socialism and a one world government. He is the Jackal and the precipice to the anti-Christ. Do not rely on this administration to do anything for anyone in this country unless you are of the devil or a Muslim terrorist. Rely only on God and do a lot of praying!!! If you voted for Obummer, you are definitely getting the change you wanted and you deserve everything you get!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
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