Contractors employed by Ward County began to demolish homes flooded by the 2011 Souris River flood Wednesday morning in Brooks Addition, a county neighborhood located between Minot and Burlington along Ward County Road 15.
The county put 19 damaged structures it had acquired after the flood, including 12 houses, up for auction in April. Some were bought and moved off their lots but others remained unsold and are part of the 33 structures to be demolished by the county to make way for new levy systems independent of the surrounding city levy systems. The deadline for demolitions and a full return to a vegetative state is Oct. 15.
Three neighborhoods the Brooks Addition, Robinwood Estates, and Terracita Vallejo are slated to have their own levy system, all of which are in areas damaged by the Souris River in 2011 and at risk of future damage.
Demolition workers move scrap metal and wood around the site of this partially demolished home Wednesday afternoon. How much remains of the structure after five hours shows the time consuming nature of demolition, let alone removing foundations and basements and other needs to return the lots to a vegetative state by October.
A backhoe holds the power line above the property up and out of harm’s way at the site of the first home to be demolished in the Brooks addition.
Contractors at the site of a demo that was once a home at 2601-75th St. NW in the neighborhood said that they began the demolition process at about 7:30 or 8 a.m. and still had a long way to go by 1:30 p.m., when they were interviewed. They spent Tuesday clearing trees in the lots to make way for the demolition.
The site had scraps lying on the ground and a backhoe holding a power line away from the demolition work. Workers there said that they still had eight homes to go in that one block alone. Other homes, like the one directly across the street, were in great condition and even appeared new.
That homeowner, according to Travis Scmitt, the assistant highway engineer for Ward County, had flood insurance and was able to recover from the flood.
The demolition and future levy projects are funded by state Community Development Block Grant funds, as well as by the State Water Commission. CDBG funds are split in half for different purposes. Half go to emergency improvement initiatives like this project and the other half goes to low to middle level income purposes like a housing project being developed in Burlington.