The impending flooding of the Souris River in Minot, North Dakota is expected to surpass the historic flood of 1969 by almost 9 feet and the historic record of 1881 by 5 feet. As amazing as this is, remember that Minot is a town of only about 40,000 people and this flood has already affected over 10,000 of these residents.
The crowd at Monday’s City Hall press conference sat in stunned silence, followed by a few brief murmurs, when it was revealed that releases into the Souris from Lake Darling Dam would be ramped up to “16 or 17,000 cfs by Thursday.” Minot’s existing dike system laboriously protects against 10,000 cfs. The previous high release for Lake Darling prior to this flood event was less than 5,000 cfs. Numbers all along the Souris are similarly stunning, shocking and, ultimately, saddening.
There is a live feed (HT: Bob Meacham) of the river from the water plant and note how you can currently (as of 11am MST June 22) see that the bridge is already experiencing pressure flow. Look at how close the water is to overtopping the downstream levees into those neighborhoods to the left and right of the channel. There is just nowhere else for the river to go.
Here is a map of where the camera of the live stream video is located:
The overtopping of the levees/dikes is imminent. Be thinking about these displaced folks as you watch the footage and the flooding over the next week.
Update: Minot’s levees are designed to protect up to 10,000 cfs. Here is the link to the gage: