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Region marks flood’s 10-year anniversary

Resilient Together observance commemorates recovery

Residents look through photo puzzle pieces to add to a mural on display during Minot’s 10-year anniversary observance of the 2011 Souris River flood on June 26.

The Minot region paused to reflect on the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Souris River flood last June, but work on an enhanced flood protection project has not paused.

The Souris River Joint Board and City of Minot anticipate the first construction work on MI-5 will go to bid in February 2022. A public hearing had been held in November.

Construction on MI-5 will continue east from the east end of the Phase MI-1 Fourth Avenue project by Third Street Northeast, where floodwalls are in place. The construction will tie back to high ground east of 13th Street Northeast. The project includes earthen levees, relocating Railway Avenue to the north, a dry stormwater pond, floodwalls, a greenway feature and a storm water pump station.

“We are also working on phase MI-6 and MI-7 design in Minot,” said Dan Jonasson, Minot Public Works director. “This is from Broadway east through Roosevelt Park and Roosevelt Zoo to Burdick Expressway on the south side of the river. We are hoping to have this design done by 2023.”

Design on MI-4, the Maple Diversion, also is nearly 70% complete.

Dignitaries cut the ribbon on the completion of the MI-2 and MI-3 portions of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project June 26 in Minot. Joining Red Coat Ambassadors from the Minot Area Chamber/EDC are, from left, Col. Karl Jansen of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sen. John Hoeven, David Ashley of the Souris River Joint Board and Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma.

The entire project through Minot consists of eight phases.

The year 2022 will bring the final phase of work in Burlington and the expected completion of the enhanced levee system to protect that community.

Tierrecita Vallejo also will begin its second and final phase in the spring, bringing protection to that subdivision once the levee work is completed.

Jonasson said the city has taken over operation of the large pump station at Broadway and Fourth Avenue Northwest, along with other flood protection features that are part of MI-1. He said the contractor has some small items to complete but Phase MI-1 is nearly 100% complete.

City, state and national leaders gathered near the Minot Water Treatment Plant during a flood anniversary observance on June 26 to cut the ribbon on the completed phases of MI-2 and MI-3 in west Minot.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, highlighted the approximate $80 million spent on these phases, known as Napa Valley and Forest Road. They include nearly 9,000 feet of earthen levees, 1,600 feet of stream bank stabilization and two pumping stations.

Minot marked 10 years since the 2011 Souris River flood with a Resilient Together commemoration June 26 in Oak Park.

The event included a video presentation and panel of several key officials who reminisced about the flood. About 3,000 pictures had been submitted for a mural board. A bike run between Burlington and Minot and a foot run along the flood protection project to Oak Park took place, and Resilient Together T-shirts were given away, courtesy of Hess. Atypical Brewery & Barrelworks in Minot created a rye beer called Ryes Above for the event.

Mayor Shaun Sipma announced a committee will be looking to raise $150,000 for a flood memorial monument at Broadway and Fourth Avenue.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s decision to consider Minot’s appeal of proposed changes to flood plain maps should give local residents another three years before significantly higher flood insurance rates kick in.

“Effectively, what that means is FEMA is starting this process over, revising these maps — the hydraulics and hydrology that goes into them — and will submit draft maps back to us, probably sometime in the summer of 2023,” City Engineer Lance Meyer told the Minot City Council in November.

Assuming no appeal of the new draft maps by the city, the earliest the maps would become effective would be the fall of 2024, Meyer said.

“That’s good news for us,” he said. “It buys us some time to work on our flood control project.

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