Flood Protection Update: Talking with Ryan Ackerman

If you make a list of Minot’s needs, long-term flood protection is going to be pretty high if not on top of the list. As a community, we’ve been told from the very early days of the 2011 flood that putting a comprehensive plan in place would take a long time. To get an update on where we’re at in that process, I sat down with Ryan Ackerman of Ackerman Estvold Engineering to get a status report.

About Ryan Ackerman

  • Longtime, Born and Raised Minot Resident
  • President of Ackerman Estvold Engineering
  • Souris Valley Basin Flood Protection Project Spokesperson
  • Assistant Project Manger:  Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project/Souris River Joint Board
  • Past: Burlington City Engineer during the 2011 Flood (the firm of Ackerman Estvold now provides engineering services for Burlington and also Velva)

The Interview

On Ackerman Estvold’s role prior to, during, and after the 2011 flood…

Clearing the air on 2011, could we have prevented the flood? 

On the discovery that the period we have hard data for — the 1900s — was actually a relative drought period…

On the need to protect to the full 27,400 CFS…

Where are we at in rewriting the reservoir and river management plan? 

And on the physical structures, levees, flood walls that need to be built in Minot… 

On how much flood protection is going to cost Minot…

And remember, it’s not just Minot, the right way to do this is to take a basin-wide approach…

And in Next Month’s Flood Protection Update…

If it’s at least a two more years before we see significant work on dikes and levees for neighborhoods, perhaps need some assurances that we’re doing things better in the interim. We’ll be reaching out to local officials to see what we learned from the 2011 flood in terms our emergency response, would we change where we put our emergency dikes, what steps towards better communication have been made?

Update, April 25: When originally published, one interview segment on the period of the 1900’s being a relative drought period was accidentally left out. It has now been added back.

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, Former City Alderman, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot. Go ahead, don't wait for permission!

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