What a difference a year makes.
A year ago, Minot residents were scrambling to flee the swollen and flooding Souris River, with sirens sounding in the city on June 22, 2011, to alert residents that it was time to leave the evacuation zones. After thousands of hours spent sandbagging, diking and other methods of trying to stem the rising river, residents along the river were forced to leave their homes and businesses behind. The water was coming, despite every effort to keep the river within its banks.
Today is a chance to remember the events of a year ago, but also an opportunity to look to the future as the city and its residents continue to recover from last year's devastating flood.
Minot is nowhere near back to normal, and won't be for years to come. But there are signs all around the area of positive changes, as residents return to their homes and plans are in the works for increased flood protection. Recovery won't be complete anytime soon. It's a long, time-consuming and expensive process for the city and its residents.
A number of events scheduled for this weekend will be part of that recovery process. An hour-long ceremony in Oak Park beginning at 12:30 p.m. today marks the start of a weekend full of events, and will be the official reopening of Oak Park. Events continue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
We hope residents take at least a few moments of their time today to attend the Oak Park ceremony, and take in the events over the weekend. We fully realize the ceremony is simply one small part of life returning to some level of normalcy in Minot, but it's important to take time to reflect on the enduring positive spirit exhibited by Minot and area residents before, during and after the flood of 2011.