Bobcat Battalion Helps Fend Off the Raging Rivers
Bobcat loaders working on an earthen levee in downtown Minot, N.D., on June 23, 2011, in response to rising flood waters of the Souris River. (photo by Sgt. Brett Miller, N.D. National Guard)
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A massive Rocky Mountain snowpack, coupled with unprecedented spring rain deluges in the Dakotas, sent a series of reservoirs to near capacity almost overnight, necessitating release of massive amounts of water into the already swollen banks of the Missouri River. Downstream, throughout North and South Dakota, and along the Iowa/Nebraska border, hundreds of homes and businesses were threatened, and residents scrambled to shore up existing levees — while constructing new ones — in an effort to protect property and minimize damage.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, all along the Missouri River basin, countless volunteers — working in concert alongside officials from local municipalities and state and federal agencies — waged a courageous defensive battle to fend off the river’s rage. Among their most effective weapons were hundreds of Bobcat® skid-steer loaders, compact track loaders and excavators, wielded by troops of skilled operators whose time was often donated for the good of the cause.
Perhaps the actual impact of the 2011 Missouri River flooding tragedy — both economic and emotional — will never be realized. But if there is but one bright spot amidst all of the suffering and destruction, it will be the valiant and often heroic efforts of thousands, whose planning and response can certainly be credited with lessening the loss and devastation.
In addition to the Missouri River, residents in Central North Dakota, including Minot, received assistance from the North Dakota National Guard to help protect the city from the Souris River. Above-average winter snowfall in the river’s watershed, coupled with heavy spring rains combined to overtake some areas in Minot and caused considerable damage. According to the Associated Press, the Souris River displaced 11,000 residents and severely damaged or destroyed the homes and businesses of 4,100 others.
Bobcat Company is proud to have played a role … and will continue providing recovery assistance for as long as people are in need.