- Associated Press - Friday, October 6, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A modeling tool is helping the city of Minot continue to recover from the devastating 2011 Souris River flood and work toward preventing a similar disaster in the future.

The Souris River Decision Support Tool is one of the projects in Minot’s National Resilience Program, the Minot Daily News reported.

Steve Wolsfeld is the vice president of CDM Smith, the city’s resilience consultant. He provided an overview of the tool during the council’s committee meeting this week.

The tool can offer insights into potential benefits related to such things as property buyouts and the lowering of reservoirs ahead of expected high water flows. It’s expected to be finalized in two or three weeks.

“We wanted to make sure that the buyouts we were doing in support of the flood control project were most effective from a cost standard and from a value standpoint for the city,” Wolsfeld said.

Wolsfeld said three main alternatives were considered that include changing operations at Lake Darling Dam and the three Canadian reservoirs during a major flood event. He said an $80 million to $90 million project to lift the Lake Darling reservoir by 5 feet was considered but wasn’t as well received as other modifications.

The water peak of the 2011 flood could’ve been reduced by 1.5 feet, if water was pushed out of the Lake Darling reservoir earlier, according to the model.

“Which is a lot when you are talking about a flood of that magnitude,” Wolsfeld said. “When you mix in doing a similar type operation at the three Canadian reservoirs, you drop the peak all the way down to 3 to 3.5 feet, which is huge.”

About $450,000 of the $599,000 that was set aside by the city has been spent on the tool. The city used funds from its $74.3 million federal resilience grant.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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