MINOT, N.D. — Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, flew into Minot Thursday to check on the flood-recovery process and to thank Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen who have been working in Minot for the past two weeks.
The general’s visit included a conference with Brig. Gen. Cecil J. Hensel Jr., the air component commander for the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo. Hensel was in town to talk to airmen stationed on flood duty.
Sprynczynatyk, along with flood recovery coordinator Maj. Gen. Murray Sagsveen, first met with Minot city officials in the emergency operations center, talking with Mayor Curt Zimbelman, city planner David Waind, public works director Alan Walter, fire chief C.J. Craven and others about progress following the flood as well as the road ahead.
Numerous neighborhoods in southwest Minot remain inundated with debris and Sprynczynatyk said emotions will begin running high now that clean up has started in earnest.
National Guard roving patrols have been stepped up in recent days to monitor neighborhoods and Zimbelman suggested the continued presence of the National Guard in Minot gives vulnerable residents a sense of security. The patrols drive around city quadrants and stop to chat with residents.
Zimbelman told Sprynczynatyk there are many parts of the city that are progressing well, while others are not. For instance, shortly after the general departed, heavy rain for the second day in a row sent guardsmen in the Armed Forces Reserve Center scrambling to get traffic control points established as rain water ran in the streets.
In addition, Zimbelman added homeowners are becoming frustrated because the city requires that a master electrician inspect new wiring before a home can be renovated and there just aren’t enough masters of their trade to go around.
However, bridges are cleared, pump stations are accessible and most roads are open. Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard’s Team Engineer are largely responsible for making that happen and Sprynczynatyk stopped at the Fourth Avenue Northwest bridge to talk to troops from Camp Ripley, Minn., who were loading equipment Thursday morning.
The general talked with several soldiers and thanked them for coming to Minot and helping the residents of the Magic City to get back on their feet.
Finally, Sprynczynatyk met outgoing Minnesota Army and Air National Guard personnel in the reserve center theater to thank them and coin them for what they have done in northwestern North Dakota.
Sprynczynatyk presented coins to 28 soldiers and airmen from Minnesota and North Dakota and told them they have done their state proud and they have done North Dakota proud. The coining ceremony included soldiers and airmen ranked from private first class up to first lieutenant.
He also talked about the joint service environment and how it has come together well for the benefit of Minot.