Through Minot, there are few parts of the Souris River that bear any resemblance to the historic, natural river. Following the flood of 1969, much of the river channel was straightened to move water through town faster and allow for better flood protection. When the project was completed in the 1970’s, the plan was to regularly divert current through the now-dead loops. But we have failed to manage those sections of the river as designed.
The result of that operational neglect (and a now-apparent design flaw) is several sections of the former river channel that are commonly referred to as the dead loops. It’s an accurate but unfortunate name because these ‘dead loops’ are all that remain of the Souris River’s natural course through Minot.
Let’s Reclaim the Natural River Sections
Our big-picture goal as Friends of the Souris is to advocate for restoring the last remaining sections of natural river channel. We believe restoring normal flows to the now-dead loops and providing recreation access to these long-abandoned stretches of water would be a boon for Minot. Not only would it help us renew our river culture, but it would add value to the many properties in the valley as well.