Minot Down Under

From the Forward


Although the Souris River Basin and the North Dakota cities of Minot, Burlington, Sawyer and Velva that are located in this basin have been hit with devastating spring flooding in the past, in late June and early July of 2011, they were hit with the most devastating flood ever. When the 2011 floodwaters receded Velva and Sawyer had been largely spared, but Burlington and Minot homes and property in the flood plain were largely destroyed. In Minot, a town of under 50,000 people, over 4000 homes were flooded, some to the extent they could never be repaired. Our city’s infrastructure was shattered, with sewer and water services disrupted for weeks. Streets were destroyed, bridges damaged, farmlands and parks flooded, schools and countless buildings damaged beyond repair.


As is usual for the citizens of North Dakota, everyone pitched in to fight the flood. Wheather it was throwing sandbags, helping friends and relatives, or even total strangers move belongings to higher ground; virtually everyone was involved and working literally around the clock, to mitigate damage as much as possible.


Many pictures have been taken of the activities on the ground. However, seen from the air the Souris River flood plain and the cities of Burlington, and Minot can be seen as the waters came on them: first to be controlled by miles of dikes, then to be engulfed and overwhelmed by the uncontrollable and historic rise of the raging waters.

What People Are Saying about Chuck Tompkins.


           “Incredible pictures. Not being from the area, I had no idea the amount of devastation suffered by this part of North Dakota. How fortunate that Chuck had the resources and time to document this historic event so well.”

           Ryan Emery - Kona, Hawaii

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