Floods emblazoned in locals’ memory

Whether it is the flood of 1969 (recalled in detail in Sunday’s Minot Daily News story) or the most recent, devastating flood, the occasions are indelibly carved in the memories of many locals. The destruction is carved into the memories of long-time residents – and, realistically they should be and it is perfectly reasonable.

A study provided MDN a couple of years ago on the attitudes of Minot residents demonstrated that many view the river with trepidation.

That’s perfectly reasonable. Just as many remain affected by the toxic train derailment in 2002, these experiences remain in memory. They impact our perceptions of the city and the levels of comfort and security we feel in Minot.

But flood control is in the works. Many MDN readers have questioned that and even offered alternate ideas – which MDN appreciates.

It’s complicated, particularly the funding sources. Honestly, the issue of where the required money comes from is an entirely viable concern. Community leaders continue to do a good job identifying those sources.

But there is reality and there is perception. One of the surprising survey results to which MDN has been given access revealed may people viewing the Souris River with trepidation. This, at the same time progressive leaders and the exceptional Minot Parks looks at ways to utilize the waterfront in a way that enhances the city, attracts visitors and provides new people to enjoy developments along the river. That is only reasonable considering the role waterfront venues have played in the redevelopment and economic vitality of dozens of communities in the country.

At a certain point, it becomes an issue of trust. Does one believe local, county, state and federal authorities are on the right track with flood protection? If so, then the river could become the key to economic redevelopment, which we are badly in need of.

If not, some feel we are still at threat.

Based on information to MDN, we are confident that adequate flood protection is in the works and that the Souris River will become an asset and not a threat to anyone. If the data showed otherwise, MDN would call it out for the public to consider, without hesitation.

But that isn’t the case now.

Instead, we support flood protection and hope for the best in terms of the river becoming an economic development of the community.

Why should we anticipate anything different here than other communities, nationwide?

Optimism isn’t easy in the world today. But it sure is worth investing oneself in.

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