While 2011 will long be remembered as the year the mighty Mouse River left a permanent mark on thousands of residents and homes in the city of Minot, it will also be remembered as the year where tens of thousands of North Dakotans stood up for a neighbor in need.
As many of you know, by the time the Mouse River crested on June 26, it had risen to a level nearly 4 feet above its 130-year-old record. In a single month, the amount of water that flowed through the Mouse River was equal to the total annual flow record from 1976. Truly an enormous, unprecedented amount of water.
In our time of need, many organizations from across our great state and region stepped up in the true spirit of volunteerism and charity. The list of individuals and groups is simply too long to mention, but please know that your service and kindness will never be forgotten.
It's obvious, recovery from a disaster of this magnitude doesn't happen overnight, within a year or even five years. So, there will likely come a time in the future when the city's residents will look to family, friends and complete strangers for a helping hand. Thanks, in advance, for being willing to provide your time and energy.
Local charities have raised millions of dollars. The state of North Dakota helped fund the flood fight and planning for future flood protection. And our delegation in Washington has helped secure emergency funds for rebuilding and flood protection.
The people of Minot have picked ourselves up as quickly as anyone can after a disaster. We've gotten to work rebuilding. And we couldn't have done it without your help. On behalf of a very grateful city, thank you!
(Curt Zimbelman is mayor of Minot)