The unofficial crest of the Souris River at the Broadway bridge in Minot, N.D., is 1,561.72 ft. The old record was set in 1881 and was almost 4 feet lower. The upstream river gauges seems to show that the water levels are beginning to go down.
That brings little comfort to the 12,000 residents of Minot who were evacuated because of this record flood. The river is not expected to drop to the old record level in the next seven days. Thousands of homes and businesses remain underwater and will be underwater for some time to come.
Travel in and out of the evacuation zone is banned. Travel in Minot is discouraged unless absolutely necessary. Heavy equipment is still using Broadway, as that bridge remains open. The street is closed to civilian traffic.
The City of Minot is under a "boil water" order. The order was issued after untreated water was detected entering the system. Reports are that the problem was discovered rapidly and repaired. City and water board authorities are waiting for water testing to determine when the order might be lifted.
About 800 soldiers of the North Dakota Army National Guard and airmen of the Air National Guard are in Minot and Ward County assisting local authorities. The work of Air Force personnel from Minot Air Force Base continues despite the evacuation of 1,142 airmen and their families from the flood zone.
Minot Air Force Base is making temporary shelter available for personnel and families who have had to evacuate. The base has opened an Emergency Family Assistance Control Center to provide information and assistance to personnel. This is intended to reduce demand for similar services on the civilian side in Minot.
The Minot School District has suffered major losses. The Minot Daily News reports that three elementary schools have been flooded as well as a number of other district buildings. The school district has canceled classes for much of the summer.
Minot State University is briefing administrators and supervisors Monday. The decision about reopening campus will remain day-to-day. The campus was diked along its southern boundary and the diking was effective in preventing major flooding.
Many of the flooded areas were at elevations less than 1,550 feet. Some areas have water 10 feet and deeper. Authorities can begin pumping out flooded areas when the Souris River falls below the levees and any breeches are repaired.