Southwest Minot residents battle flash floods

Living in the path of a major waterway has been a frustrating experience for some residents of Minot’s Green Acres Addition.

Puppy Dog Coulee, which drains hundreds of acres before gushing into Minot on its way to the Souris River, passes through the housing development located just west of Dakota Square Mall. It’s been particularly problematic for the homeowners in lower lying areas.

Since moving to Green Acres in 2005, Dr. Tunde Siyanbade said he’s experienced flash flooding in 2009 and 2010 as well as having had as much as four feet of water in his basement during three separate incidents in recent weeks. His immediate neighbors have been in the same boat.

Barricading his walk-out basement would cause the water to rise against his home, creating risk of water on the main floor, he said. Raising his backyard might help, but he noted, “It pushes the problem down the line. It doesn’t solve the problem. … I hate to divert to my neighbors. I would not like it if someone did that to me.”

Siyanbade would like the city to enlarge or add to the culverts under 16th Street Southwest, which also flooded this spring due to ice blocking the culverts. City officials say the culverts are sized to handle the water.

During the rains June 3 and 4, the city erected Hesco barriers along 37th Avenue Southwest to slow the flow from Puppy Dog Coulee into Green Acres. Homes in the subdivision still experienced flooding.

Council member Blake Krabseth, who represents the Green Acres area, said storm sewer changes proposed with the commercial development at 16th Street and 31st Avenue should reduce some of the water problem. A better solution would have been a 30-acre retention pond that Ward County had considered at one time, he said.

The plan went by the wayside when negotiations with a landowner for property for the pond failed to reach a settlement.

Ward County Water Resource Board members say the board still would like to do something about the coulee running into Minot, but recovery from the 2011 flooding drained its financial resources.

Tom Klein, chairman of the board, said retention ponds before the coulee reaches Minot remain the best solution.

“The big question is the funding,” he said. “We are working on whatever the county gives us from the mill levy.”

Ward County considered raising Ward County Road 14, which has become 37th Avenue in Minot, as well as raising other roads farther upstream, county engineer Dana Larsen said. The county added culverts to County Road 14, but the road raise ran into landowner opposition. The city nixed other road raises after its engineers determined it could worsen rather than mitigate problems, Larsen said.

Meanwhile, Siyanbade said he has health issues related to the mold in a three-times-flooded house that he would have difficulty selling.

“The problem is, it is going to happen again,” he said.