Minot marks 50th anniversary of the 1969 flood

MINOT, N.D. – On the same day lawmakers pushed forward state funding for Minot's modern flood protection, the community marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Souris River flood.

The river crested on April 19, 1969.

Residents had been fending off the runoff from the Des Lacs River when they got word that the Souris River levels would go up.

Alan Walter, whose lived through multiple Minot floods, said the community began preparing for the worst.

“We started building the causeway along Broadway so we had emergency traffic from the north to south side of town, because without that we would have been going miles out of the way to get around from the north end of town to the south end of town. It was a pretty tough feeling, seeing all those houses under the water, and what was happening with our community,” he said.

Walter said people from across the region came to the aid of Minot residents trying to evade the rising floodwaters.

“People came from all over to help. It wasn't just the citizens of Minot, it was their friends and neighbors from all around Minot, far away as 50, 60 miles coming in and helping move people out so that they could get all of their belongings out of the way of the water, and just have damage to the house, and not lose everything,” he said.

Walter said that, thankfully, much like in 2011, no one lost their lives in the flooding.

He also said that Minot’s main flood events in the past two centuries have coincidentally all been separated by 42 years—1885, 1927, 1969, and 2011.