Guard helping Dakota residents evacuate flooded areas
June 23, 2011
MINOT, N.D. (Army News Service, June 23, 2011) " Alongside local officials, the North Dakota National Guard is working to ensure a safe evacuation of about 12,000 people and 4,200 homes in the Souris River Valley and Minot, N.D.
Sirens sounded Wednesday, notifying the evacuation area that it was time to vacate with their final belongings to avoid the historic flood waters spilling over the sides of levees.
About 500 North Dakota Guard members are currently on duty in the Minot-Burlington area.
"Right now our focus is on the safety of the Minot people," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general. "I am proud of the way our Soldiers and Airmen continue to assist the residents working shoulder-to-shoulder with the community and civil authorities."
Guardsmen will worked through Wednesday evening alongside the local authorities to make sure all identified homes had been evacuated. Future operations in Minot for the Guard will include traffic-control points and presence patrols, officials said.
At the same time, more than 275 Guard members are in the Bismarck and Mandan area conducting levee patrols and serving as quick reaction forces in the event of an emergency situation.
"Whether it’s been traffic control, levee monitoring or evacuation assistance, our Guardsmen have performed well in every mission asked of them," Sprynczynatyk said. "Through this catastrophic event, your Guard stands ready to assist."
The North Dakota National Guard has been serving on flood duty in the state's central region for the past 30 days. Earlier this spring, the Guard spent 32 days on flood operations across the state, with 1,486 Guardsmen contributing to the effort at some point during the mission. About 37,000 Guard mandays have been contributed to flood operation this year so far.