Minot cuts the ribbon on flood protection for its water treatement plant

Aug 12, 2017

Credit Mark Lyman / Odney Advertising

A milestone in flood control for Minot.

The first part of the flood control plan developed after the record 2011 flood.

The city's water treatment facilities -- whihc include the treatment facility for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project, will now be protected by a flood wall.

Minot Mayor Chuck Barney kicked off the festivities.

"It's an historic ribbon-cutting and dedication for flood protection in Minot,” Barney told the crowd gathered for the ceremonial robbon cutting. It’s a $30 million project, with 75 percent, or $22.5 million, coming from the federal government.

“This project marks the first permanent floodwalls our community has put up in our 130 year history,” Barney said.

Barney said it also sets the stage for future flood protection – which will be done in phases. He said this is the first flood control project to be completed in Minot since that devastating 2011 event.

“It’s shown to the people of Minot that we are moving forward," Barney said in an interview. "Sometimes it’s hard to show progress when you’re doing design and engineering. But this is tangible evidence we are moving forward in the fight against future flooding.”

The federal funding was secured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

“So this is, by dollars, the largest project that we have funded in region 8," said Ryan Pietramali, FEMA’s Region 8 risk analysis grants chief. Region 8 is based in Denver.  “In terms of structural flood control, I think it’s the second largest project that the agency has funded.”

Pietramali said this provides protection around important critical infrastructure, which is drinking water.

“If it should flood again, having available drinking water is a really, really big deal to aid in recovery,” said Pietramali.

Famously, during the 2011 flood, Minot’s then-city public works director, Alan Walters, was asked about a boil order for water. He replied – “Just boil the damned water.” Barney referenced that during his remarks.

“And now, let’s go cut a ribbon, so that we never, ever have to say again, ‘Just boil the damn water.' Thank you.”