Now is not the time to forget the record flood of 2011

There has been considerable news coverage of the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Souris River flood.

Some people might be tired of hearing about the flood, including newly-elected city councilman George Withus, who was also on the council 2011-14. He wrote in a recent letter to the editor of this newspaper that he doesn’t even want to be reminded of the terrible flood.

That is easy to understand. But now is not the time for Withus or any other local official to put 2011 out of mind. There are several reasons for not doing so.

Chief among them is flood control. While in the process of being built, permanent flood control is a long ways from being a reality. Forgetting the tragedy if not any mistakes made in 2011 would not be helpful in seeing the project through.

It is also not time to turn our backs on the neighbors and neighborhoods in which “zombie” homes are located. Taxpaying homeowners have restored their own properties at great time and expense while some houses remain untouched five years later. Little if contents removed before or after the flood.

That’s five years of stench, weeds and critters.

Who wants to live next to such a health hazard?

Who wants to stand by and let the problem persist?

Now is not the time to forget; now is the time to remember and refocus on recovery for all.