No one is claiming the flood plan approved by the Minot City Council last week is perfect, or for that matter, even complete. But the city needed to get behind a plan in order to keep the years-long process of building flood protection from Burlington to Velva, and the council has done its part.
It's only one step, of course, in a lengthy and expensive process, but it's a step that had to be taken. So the $820 million plan that includes two diversion channels is moving ahead.
There are sure to be changes in the design and scope of the project as it progresses, and that's fine. Under the proposal, the project's footprint would remain the same in protecting the city to a river flow of 27,400 cubic feet per second as it would to protect the city to smaller flows of 10,000 or 15,000 cfs. The number of homes necessary to acquire would stay the same, too.
Some council members supported a plan without diversion channels, instead following the river channel through the city with flood protection. Ultimately, the vote was a unanimous 13-0 in supporting moving ahead with the phased-in $820 million project.
The council's action is but one small step toward making the flood protection plan a reality. There are many, many more steps to take, but none more important than the first one.