Campus rebounds as classes begin
The first official day of school at Minot State University felt like many others: fresh faced novices full of anticipation, as well as seasoned veterans returning for another year. A walk along the north side of University Avenue shows a picturesque campus setting of red and green banners lining the drive, welcoming friends to MSU. Lush, green, neatly trimmed grass occupies the boulevard, as if attentive care throughout the summer contributed to its beauty. Upon closer inspection though, hydroseed on the lawn belies the recent damage left behind after the 12-foot Beaver dam was removed.
When new crest predictions on June 20 guaranteed flood waters would reach the south end of MSUís campus, no time was wasted deciding whether or not to construct a dike along University Avenue. Roger Kluck, assistant vice president for facilities management, reached out to Ryan Ackerman, Burlingtonís city engineer, for advice.
"Ryan (a partner at Ackerman/Estvold Engineering) advised me what he felt the flood elevation high would be. From that number, I added two feet to allow for freeboard," Kluck said. "I then called Rollie Ackerman (Ackerman Surveying and Associates, Inc.) to get MSUís dike staked to the predicted elevation Ryan had suggested. Ackerman Surveying showed up immediately to help us out."
Kluck also reached out to Jeff Anderson at Excavating, Inc. for help with constructing a dike. Anderson acted quickly and construction crews began working that very afternoon.
"We feel that MSU is a very good customer," said Anderson. "So when Roger called, we dropped everything and came down."
Dropping everything meant reprioritizing projects and recruiting enough manpower to work around the clock until the job was done.
"We had crews working 18, 19, 20-hour days per man constructing the dike," Anderson said. "It was a long week, and we couldnít have done it without the employees we have."
Twenty-four hour efforts throughout the week came to an end during the early morning hours of June 24. Anderson said the trucks were shut off around 3:30 a.m., and bulldozers closed the dike around 5 a.m.
"As the sun came up, we shut the dozers off, climbed the dike and watched the water come up 8th Street," he added.
Today, the memories seem distant as classes resume in full swing, and the calendar fills with activities. Little thought is given to the "what if" by most. But Kluck remembers and is grateful.
"Jeff Anderson and his crew really sacrificed a lot to save our campus," Kluck said.