Posted on: March 13, 2017

Flood Risk Forecast: Prediction significantly reduced

Recent river flow forecasts show a sharp decrease in flood risk for the City of Minot. The National Weather Service’s forecast shows a 50 percent chance the Souris River flow will exceed 3,500 cubic feet per second within the next 90 days, a drop of 1,300 cfs. The City of Minot levee system is designed to handle 10,000 cfs when flood protocols are activated.

"It’s another positive sign for citizens in the valley,” says City of Minot Public Works Director, Dan Jonasson. “The early snowfall this season had lots of people concerned, it seems to be getting better each time as we approach spring.”

Even the more drastic projections from the National Weather Service are well within the current

City of Minot levee system capabilities. The forecasting data shows a 90 percent chance flows

will exceed 2,300 cfs but only a 10 percent chance flows surpass 5,700 cfs.

The City of Minot is still planning on breaking ground for the first three phases of flood control in 2017. The Souris River Joint Board, the sponsoring party for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project, expects the first shovel this fall.

“There is still more permitting and studies to do, but we think we’ll see the first construction of flood control may begin sometime this fall.” explains Jonasson.

The City of Minot has committed to paying the local share of the one billion dollar flood control project, border-to-border, which is estimated to cost $350 million dollars over the next few decades. The first four phases are designed to remove 60% of the at-risk population from the flood plan and the looming FEMA Risk maps that are expected to be revised by 2018. A remapping will reclassify a significant portion of homes into flood zones, which will lead to rising flood insurance premiums. 

“The latest flood projects should buy us more time to protect our citizens. We’ll need as much time as we can get.” says Jonasson.'

The NWS updates it’s forecast every two weeks through the spring.

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