Guard Helps North Dakota Flood Victims
By Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Orrell
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va., June 23, 2011 As of 9:30 a.m. EST today, the city of Minot, N.D. has evacuated about 12,000 residents in response to the Souris River overtopping several levees in and around the area, Guard officials said.
North Dakota National Guard vehicles patrol one of the mandatory evacuation zones in Minot, N.D., June 22, 2011. The patrols ensure that all citizens have evacuated their homes and render assistance in the areas threatened by the rising water of the Souris River that has exceeded major flood stage. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Minot civilian authorities are anticipating that flood waters may reach an additional six to eight feet above the levees by 4 p.m. EST and will eventually be flowing at a rate of 28,000 cubic feet per second.
Due to the potential dangers, local officials have decided that fighting the flood is no longer feasible and will brace for water levels to break the record levels of 1881.
“It’s a sad day for the people of this city, but one that brought the community together to ensure the safety of its citizens,” said Army Maj. Gen. David A. Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota’s adjutant general. “Right now our focus is on the safety of the Minot people.
“I am proud of the way our soldiers and airmen continue to assist the residents, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the community and civil authorities,” he added.
Today, the North Dakota National Guard will be redirecting ambulances and 50 additional personnel to join the already 500 Guard members in Minot. They will perform airboat operations, security patrols, traffic-control points and residential evacuations.
Sprynczynatyk said that as citizen soldiers and airmen continue to assist flood-stricken residents.
“Whether it’s been traffic control, levee monitoring or evacuation assistance, our Guardsmen have performed well in every mission asked of them,” he said. “Through this catastrophic event, your Guard stands ready to assist.”
As with any activation, deployment or mobilization, the success of the Guard begins at home and in the workplace, Sprynczynatyk said.
“We are able to do our jobs successfully thanks to our employers and families for being supportive when we need it the most,” he said.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The North Dakota National Guard contributed to this article.)