News: Corps, ND National Guard support Minot flood fight
Story by Patrick N. Moes
MINOT, N.D. -- Working 24hours-a-day while the river reached historic levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, raised levees throughout Minot, N.D., to contain water swelling from the river’s banks. The Souris River crested June 2 at 1,544.02 feet in the city, making it the fifth flood of record for this city.
The corps had five contractors working in Minot at the peak of operations. More than 10 miles of temporary emergency levees were built in less than eight days. Levees were built or improved upon throughout the city – down neighborhood roads and along the river’s banks.
“The contractors have done a really good job,” said Jake Fall, a Corps of Engineers materials engineer serving as a quality assurance representative in Minot. “They have a good idea of what needs to be done, and they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do.”
Doing what needs to be done has been the theme during this floodfight, said Roland Hamborg, Souris River area flood engineer. Corps staff began supporting Minot early April when the spring snow melt began, and they’ve continued to stand shoulder to shoulder during the recent rain events that have kept the water levels at flood stage.
The team effort has not gone unnoticed. Willie Nunn, Federal Emergency Management Agency North Dakota Federal Coordinating Officer for the event, said the entire flood fight has been a joint effort. He added that FEMA is not the only team supporting Minot, rather he said, “It’s part of the team.”
The North Dakota National Guard has also served a vital role in the current flood fight. With approximately 600 soldiers working in Minot, the Guard continues supporting the corps with levee monitoring and levee reinforcement.
“Our relationship with the Corps has been great,” said Capt. Steve Bohl, North Dakota National Guard liaison officer for the Minot Emergency Operations Center. “We are building friendships beyond this flood event that will last a lifetime.”
As the river begins to recede, the flood fight continues, and the corps continues reinforcing levees in preparation for additional rain in the five-day forecast. The agency maintains a contractor on standby in the event of an emergency.