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. tjaman

    There are evacuation zones in town here, and people are leaving the evac zones. People NOT in the zones are staying put and they are helping to shelter their evacuated neighbors, and some are shoring these spaces up with auxiliary dikes but they are NOT posing any danger to children or public safety. Dikes have been topped in places. There is water in the streets and on our bridges and in our basements. And more water is coming.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sheri ( minot nd)

    I have lived in Minot my entire life. It is my home. Do you think at this point I care about Obama or politics? No..I care about that my sister is displaced because of this, or that my other sister will lose rental properties. I care that my friends, evacuated their homes, not once, but twice, and are feeling hopeless. I know that, we north dakotans will stand by and help each other out as much as possible. As stated in a previous comment, where people help each other shovel snow, or say hello in passing..I am proud where I live, just as I am sure you all are too. If you live in Arizona, and were affected by the wildfires my heart goes out to you, the people of Joplin Alabama...my heart goes out to you...Grow up people...

    June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. North Dakota Stron

    I am completely appalled by the comments that are telling Minot residents they are getting what they deserve. It doesn’t matter what state you live in a natural disaster can strike at anytime, and you could be the one that losses everything next. Have some compassion and think before you type hurtful comments. Whatever happened to the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. I believe this saying applies to the Minot resident’s situation. They are going through enough already some of them may have nothing after today. What they need is support so if you cannot muster up some compassion then just shut up and don’t say anything!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Proud to be from North Dakota

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Minot. Congratulations on the true coming together of your community spirit. I have been following your efforts on facebook and am truly overwhelmed by the people willing to take their time, their vehicles and their gas to help out people they don't even know. People from all over the state have rushed to Minot to help.
    I was born in ND. I grew up in Brooklyn. I lived in Chicago for awhile. There is NOTHING like the spirit of the people of North Dakota anywhere in this country. I am proud to be a North Dakotan. We don't loot our neighbor's belongings, we help get our neighbors to safety. We don't point fingers. We do what we have to do. The disasters of the last few months have truly brought our state together. Good Job North Dakota. Good luck Minot. Hang in there. We will be there to help with clean-up.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JT

    @ELH,

    Who said anything about eliminating people? How about just asking them not to live along a riverbank that's had horrible floods in the past 100 years, improved levees or not. Believe it or not there are other places to live. In looking at the map, the entire town looks to be located within 1-1.5 miles of the river.... maybe after this disaster is over people will move a littler futher away. But if history is any indication they will simply build a bigger levee and 30 years down the line we'll be back at square one.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      You sir, are an idiot. Have you been to North Dakota? Do you realize that it is some of the flattest land around? These folks don't live on the river banks, this is overland flooding. This is unprecedented man-made flooding, not a regular natural event.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      What he said; and double it. Went from total idiot to complete genius post in .5 seconds. I guess it's better than the reverse.

      June 24, 2011 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. thebassman

    I'm telling u all , go on youtube, look up dutchsinse << user name . & watch his videos & you will know who is causing the floods, or at least what is causing it.. It's not what u think, but you are right residents on ND. iT'S NOT NATURAL !!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JT

    That being said, I'm praying for you guys to get through this. I don't think you deserve it – I'm just trying to explain why people might not feel as sympathetic as you'd expect. I live where hurricanes, tornados, and severe thunderstorms cause damage fairly often. I'm not going to be on the comment boards if that happens, complaining about why CNN isn't covering my story or why Obama isn't personally picking up the debris. I sincerely hope that nobody is killed. $30,000 isn't much to restart a life but it's still better than the alternative.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Randy

    I don't know if people are associating Minot with Fargo or what, but Minot does NOT flood every year. Minot is nowhere near the Red River. This is the first major flood there since 1969 and expected to greaty surpass that event. Measures were taken to prevent flooding since then, but, sadly, this has proven to be too much.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sheri ( minot nd)

    to all of you who are saying we should move..ect ..I hope nothing ever happens to you as far as natural disaters happening. I dont think you could handle it.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rob

    I have not yet begun to say "UFFDA!"..........Minot Strong!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RexUranus

    We'll all be in your corner when FEMA shows up to forcibly disarm and "evacuate" you. Please resist, with force if necessary...we need to reverse the tyrannical precedent they set in New Orleans. Good luck and Godspeed to North Dakota!!

    June 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I admire the self-sufficient people of ND who obviously choose to live there and handle the risks that come with their choice.
    Their reliance on themselves is the reason that they will survive this flood and thrive.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kevin

    HEY EVERYONE quit blaming obama, democrats republicans and people who live in minot. This is all happening because the people in CANADA EH, didnt want to ruin there lakes and are emptying over 35000 cfs (cubic feet second) of water down river. we would have been fine if it wasnt for CANADA. I blame the hosers up north.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    I'm in Minot right now, i can't imagine what the town will look like in a week. someone use the Anderson Cooper Signal.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NoDak

    and we wonder what is wrong with our country... ... ... wishing disaster upon others... ... ... reassuring. Trust me when I tell you that it is very easy to judge a situation when it has not touched you. But live through a disaster and you will be humbled.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
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