- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Minot will on Wednesday mark the five-year anniversary of the day Souris River floodwaters breached the city’s dike system.

Warning sirens sounded on June 22, 2011, as floodwaters inundated much of North Dakota’s fourth-largest city, following excessive snowmelt and rainfall in the basin.

The Souris River enters North Dakota from Canada, loops down through Minot and meanders back across the border. The 2011 flood damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 buildings in Minot, displacing more than 11,000 people and causing about $700 million in damage. There was additional damage in rural areas, bringing the total to more than $1 billion.

The flood also caused a housing shortage, prompting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring in about 2,000 temporary units for flood victims.

“It impacted so many in and out of the flood zone,” Mayor Chuck Barney said in a statement. “I think inviting the community to join us in talking about what we went through then will help us discuss what we can do going forward.”



Barney plans to speak at a community ceremony scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the amphitheater in the city’s Oak Park, which has heavily damaged by the flooding. City leaders will discuss the status of recovery efforts and work being done to make the city more resilient to flooding in the future.

“Looking back is the best way to move forward,” he said.

A moment of silence will be observed at 12:57, the minute the sirens sounded five years ago.

Officials are using state and federal funds to address pressing needs, such as building ring dikes around flood-susceptible rural homes and a flood wall around Minot’s water treatment plant.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in spring launched what is expected to be a three-year study of permanent flood protection for the basin, an effort that could cost $1 billion.

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Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

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