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. Hillary Davis

    We can't blame Canada either... From Devils Lake, we're pumping water up to Canada. Again, Nature!

    June 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Actually we want to pump into Canada from Devil's Lake, but they won't allow us.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike smith

    It does amaze that you idiots want to blame the weather on Obama as well.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Quibb

      Seems a little differant now that bush is gone, Everything was his fault, Nothing is ever the all mighties fault... lol, You libtards kill me....

      June 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Standing Consertative

      To Mike Smith ... I think you were trying to say, "It does amaze (me that) you idiots want to blame the weather on Obama as well." Poor grammer either way, but I understand what you were attempting to convey. And, what the hell ? The press blamed George W. for Katrina and the string of hurricanes and other related weather incidents at the time, right? I haven't seen one news story that has put the blame on Obama for any weather or natural disaster. I mean, sure, I've seen people blog and say it's the POTUS fault, but the press doesn't report it as a "Let's Blame Obama" news story like they did on GWB.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jcash

      To Standing Consertative... The word is grammar not grammer.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prestor John

      Didn't you lefties blame President Bush for Katrina?

      June 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bertha

      I'm surprised they blame anything on Obama. I've been hearing for years that everything is Bush's fault!

      June 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • secrecy

      How come obama has told all news agencies to blackwall a catagory 4 in the flood ridin area of nebraska's nuclear plant........cooling systems have begun to fail due to flooded areas.....just an fyi....Get the news out people. Reportnation.com.pk

      June 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      This was actually caused by mismanagement, they tried to keep water levels artifically low for the sake of wild life and not the community. they are releasing water from the dam, that's what the problem is, If they don't flood the cities now the dams will burst from the water that they have built up behind the dams. This was the Army corps fault, as well as the state governments for not pushing harder, this dates back to the bush era so you could blame him for not trying to fix dams that never matter outside the local area, but you could also blame obama for that. So its not either one of their faults, just the Army corps and enviromentalists who wanted to save Gars.

      June 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      Was Bush blamed for the actual hurricane or for the lack of effort after the fact?

      June 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rapture ray

    floods,fires,tornados,droughts,unemployment,earthquakes,what else.............makes you wonder!!!!!

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

      There is nothing to wonder. All natural events. Sorry, but your beloved rapture is simply a delusion, Ray.

      June 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. larry

    this explains a lot.

    http://www.metlink.org/weather-climate-resources-teachers/teacher-development/teacher-internship/workscheme-climate-change.html

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

      to dark star, is that to say you don't believe in JESUS??? you should before it's too late

      June 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ShaJen

    To the North Dakota people who are being affected by major flooding.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. No matter where a disaster happens, it is always hard. I was happy to hear that folks are sticking together and helping each other out. People seem to rise and be their best when times are hardest.

    North Dakota doesn't get much media attention. Its a good thing that media is now covering the tragedy in your great state. May peace be with you.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Corbin R. Fields

    Please go to Sparkrelief.org to help displaced people find a home. Offer housing or Donate. Sparkrelief empowering communities during disaster relief.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. SasCan

    Hang on to your hats its taken out four highways and destroyed several bridges,one town totaly underwater this comes from where it all started have been out of our homes for a week already the rain has to stop before this gets any better had over 300mm of rain in an already saturated area which makes it all run off.We feel for you down there and one commentor was right this is a 500 year event and just seems to keep escalating.God please stop the rain

    June 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Renae

    I am simply amazed at some of the comments on here. I have lived in North Dakota all my life, and have always thought about moving away. Somewhere were the sun shines more, where its not so windy, somplace where there are no blizzards and floods. But this is where where we call HOME. Its one of the only states where your kids are safe, where you can still borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor, where people are willing to drop everything and help a stranger! Shame on you people for saying it is "OUR" fault for living in the floodplain. If this is the case then everyone should move out of areas affected by earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes etc....It is an act of nature. Have some empathy for what these people are going through. They are losing everything and all they need is some kind words, thoughts and prayers, not political rants!

    June 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoosier

      God bless you guys in N. Dakota! I will tell you that life is very much like what you described here in Indiana. How about we midwest folks stick together. We had a terrible tornado here in my area a few years ago, and we all helped the affected neighbors. When the National Guard rolled up (not knocking them) they kind of just got in the way. They were all camped out waiting for looters, and there were none!

      June 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. originalwolf

    I am from the eastcoast and have weathered many hurricanes and am now in ND, north of minot, in farmland now turned to lakes from the rain and flooding. Personally, I don't want Obama here, nor Federal money. Let him give his money to the whiners and takers of this country. We will recover. We are strong, kind Americans who work for everything we have and help those when they need it.
    I personally met two men yesterday who drove two hours just to help those who needed it. I wonder where else someone would drive over 100 miles to help strangers. I am proud to be a North Dakotan.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    Thanks for clatyfying to me where "Minot" is, its in North Dakota, I kep hearing on other news sites...Minot, Monit, Minot, I thought it was in Malaysia or the Pacific Islands

    June 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan O.

    Its a sad day in Minot. We are North Dakotans, we will prevail. We can rebuild, and build it better the next time around.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Don't kid yourself: he's probably been educamated to a Ph.D.
    No Child Left Behind, you know.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wfsg

    Gee, CNN finally got to this story.... amazing. It's been breaking for two weeks. It will be interesting to see if CNN can see it through. And by the way, why do people blame who ever is in office for natural disasters. It's not like they happened all the time before Katrina. Get over it people; on both sides of the isle.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BobG

    My heart goes out to the people of Minot and all those suffering from the historic flooding along the Souris River. I hope everyone remains safe. I grew up in SE Saskatchewan, about 170 miles from Minot. I got to know some great people from that fine city, who had summer cabins near ours in a Saskatchewan park.

    The area where I grew up is in the upper reaches of the Souris drainage, and in addition to a wet fall and above average snowfall, many places there have had a years' worth of rain (over 1') in the last 7 weeks. Noone living has EVER seen the rivers and creeks at these flow levels. It's at least a 1 in 150, maybe 1 in 500 year situation. The earthen dams built in the mid 90's on the Souris and it's main tributary have mitigated things to this point, but they are now at capacity, and there was no choice but to increase the combined flow rates to peak at 27000 ft3/sec yesterday (now down to 25000 ft3/sec). As a result, several hundred people were flooded out of their homes in Saskatchewan as well.

    June 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big Game James

    Where and who do we call to help? Is the Red Cross involved? Are there any large chain home improvement stores that can help by donating sand and other supplies? Can we send emails to these companies to help expedite the process? Just saying, while we are telling others what to do and hurling insults at each other there might be somebody who needs the help!

    June 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
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