The Need for Realism in Recovery Planning

The Red River drainage basin, with the Souris ...

Image via Wikipedia

Proud city will recover is the title of an editorial in the Minot Daily News on June 26.  While I do not want to demean efforts to bolster the spirits of local residents and property owners in Minot, efforts that exhort readers to return may get in the way of individual decision-making to the contrary. Not every victim of a natural disaster may have the time, will, and money to return to a damaged property. Some may not want to return to the neighborhood or even the city after the disaster.  After all,  the Souris River will still be there, and a future flood remains a possibility.

A quote comes to mind here: “Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.” Source: Sir Francis Bacon.

Here is the article with one sentenced highlighted by me:

Swamped. Devastated. Inundated. Evacuated. Flooded.

All those words describe Minot during the past week, as the Souris River swept through the heart of the city. Homes destroyed. Businesses closed or destroyed. Thousands of residents displaced.

The situation went from dire to dangerous in a matter of days. In some cases, the river made dramatic, historic changes in a matter of minutes, swamping areas that were dry one minute, and were soaked the next minute.

The city of Minot will never be the same. It can’t be.

The residents will return, whether it be in days, weeks or months. They will return to destroyed homes and shattered lives. But we have no doubt that they will return. They are, after all, Minoters and North Dakotans.

Residents all along the river fought valiantly, including weeks of backbreaking sandbagging and diking. But in the end, the river simply overwhelmed everyone’s best efforts.

Thanks to fellow blogger, Phil Palen, for pointing out this article.

One more article on the topic of recovery in Minot appeared in the Deseret News ( Salt Lake City) on June 26.  The lack of flood insurance is a major factor in recovery decision making in Minot.

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