Landsat Satellite images reveal extent of historic North Dakota flooding

Jun 27, 2011
The Landsat 5 satellite captured this image on May 16, 2011, before the flooding began. It shows the Souris River within its banks. The Souris River flows through the middle of Minot, N.D. Credit: NASA/USGS

Heavy rains in Canada caused historic flooding in Minot, N.D. Landsat satellite images taken before and during the flooding reveal the water's extent.

The Souris River finally crested on June 26, but not before more than 4,000 homes and hundreds of businesses were flooded. About one-fourth of Minot's 40,000 residents evacuated the city. Residents expect a long recovery as the river slowly retreats.

The Souris River reading at Minot's Broadway Bridge around 11:00 p.m. on June 25 reached nearly four feet higher than the all-time high set in 1881.

The Souris River flows through the middle of Minot, N.D. Landsat 7 captured the second image on June 25. This view shows the extent of the flooding (dark blue) of the Souris River. Credit: USGS/NASA

The Landsat Program is a series of Earth-observing satellite missions jointly managed by and the U.S. Geological Survey. Landsat satellites have been consistently gathering data about our planet since 1972. They continue to improve and expand this unparalleled record of Earth's changing , for the benefit of all. The next Landsat satellite is scheduled to launch in December 2012.

Explore further: Deciphering clues to prehistoric climate changes locked in cave deposits

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