In recent weeks, local, state and federal officials have surveyed the Souris River from nearly every angle.
Wedneday, they viewed it from a new one, high above the furious river.
A contingent that included Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk toured the zones affected by river flooding from Minot to Lake Darling in a Black Hawk helicopter.
The Souris River winds through Minot near East Central Avenue in this photo taken during an aerial tour of the Souris River Basin taken by flood officials from Minot to Lake Darling.
An aerial view of a group of homes near Burlington shows how high the river has risen in recent weeks. The Souris River is expected to continue to rise all week, reaching a high of between 1,562 and 1,563 feet on Sunday.
The trip gave the group a preview of what Minot should expect in coming days.
"The reason for the tour was to see how much breaching was taking place and where," Dalrymple said. "We did see four or five locations where it was coming over."
After viewing the better than 25-mile stretch from Minot to Darling, Zimbelman said he had a greater understanding for how much the entire valley will be affected.
"There's a lot more water up there than there was the last time I looked and I thought there was a lot of water then," Zimbelman said. "It's coming and we know what's going to happen in the next few days and it's sad. There are a lot of people up and down. It's not just Minot, it's the whole valley, and it's going to be for awhile."
The Army National Guard has a pair of Black Hawks and two Huey helicopters on hand to assist in the effort as floodwaters continue to rise.
The tour passed through Burlington and areas west of Minot that had already seen substantial flooding on Wednesday.
Some of the water viewed by the group will pass through Minot today. Dalrymple said citizens should be prepared for a surge.
"What we know is that the real trouble is coming from Sherwood now," Dalrymple said. "Somewhere between Sherwood and the Lake Darling dam there's a tremendous surge on the way. That will appear probably some time later (today). The dam release is being delayed a bit so that the big rise comes during daylight hours. They did not want an additional 6,000 cfs appearing at night. It will be dramatic and some people will no doubt feel alarmed at the speed with which the water comes up in Minot. In two days time, it will be a very, very rapid rise."