Image of Minot's City Hall with text overlay

Sincerely, City Hall

Sincerely, City Hall

A message from your government about the most topical and relevant information currently circulating throughout the community. 

View All Posts

Jul 08

It takes a village to protect a community

Posted on July 8, 2021 at 3:05 PM by Bryan Obenchain

I want to thank everyone who attended or watched Saturday’s Resilient Together event recognizing the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Souris River flood and its aftermath. It was a great opportunity to remind me and everyone else of this simple fact: We are in this together. We were in it together in 2011, we’re in it together today, and we’ll be in it together forever.

Perhaps the emotion of the event was summed up best by Curt Zimbelman, who was Minot’s mayor during the 2011 flood. “The devastation was immense,” he told the crowd Saturday. “But we never gave up. You, the people, never gave up.”

He’s absolutely right. The people of Minot have refused to give up since the first trickle of water came through the dikes in 2011. Our community didn’t give up before, during, or after the events of 2011. We battled the rising water until the very last moment, when that awful siren announced it was time to leave our homes. Then we waited, impatiently, for the river to return to its banks. When it did, we immediately went to work restoring our homes, our property, our lives, and our community.

That same resolve has been evident through the past decade in our ongoing efforts to design, fund, and construct the largest infrastructure project in Minot’s history. The flood control efforts span the entire river basin, but much of the completed work is visible in Minot. The hazard mitigation work done to protect the Water Treatment Plant. The completion of Phases 2-3 in the neighborhood around Perkett Elementary School. The Broadway pump station, which recently went through successful testing. The flood walls along the river east of Broadway.

All of this work has been completed because of the resolve of this community and its long list of local, state, and federal partners. The hard work continues in designing upcoming phases of the project, and seeking funding on every level to ensure Minot and the basin are protected by a complete project quickly and efficiently. Because of the convictions of everyone involved and the palpable community spirit, I have no doubt that this project will be completed as timely as possible. On many levels, Minot’s future depends on the success of this project, and we have no intentions of failing.

As part of this past weekend’s events, we discussed the ongoing effort to raise funds for a flood memorial monument that will be placed near the flood walls at Broadway and Fourth Avenue. The monument will be designed and created by local artists. We’re working to raise $150,000 in private donations to cover the costs of designing, building, and placing the monument. The monument will be a tribute to the resiliency of our community, and a reminder of the progress we’ve made in the past decade to protect our citizens from another flood event. We’ll have more information in the coming weeks about the monument, including how you’ll be able to donate if you choose.

Again, thank you to everyone who played a role in organizing and helping make the Resilient Together event a success, especially members of the committee who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Saturday’s event was as a visible reminder that we have tremendous partners both inside our community and outside of Minot. Minot Public Schools. Minot Park District. Ward County. Minot State University. Minot Air Force Base. Souris River Joint Board. State Water Commission. Elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels. Much can be accomplished when everyone has the same goal and is pulling in the same direction.

If it takes a village to raise a child, well, then it takes several enormous villages to protect a community from flooding. Thank you for being part of our village – and our community.

Sincerely, City Hall

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.