Equipment dealers from all over Minot, N.D. — Gooseneck Implement, Butler Machinery Co, and Titan Machinery — sent employees down to pitch in to help Minot’s Magic City Implement.
There may be a dike around Magic City Implement's business protecting it from the flood waters surrounding it, but it is open for business - and easily accessible right on the east end of Minot - right off Highway 2.
Due to heavy rainfall May 30, Magic City Implement faced a flash flood that would eventually threaten their business.
Travis Zablotney, store manager, said "The torrential rains that poured 4 inches of rain down on an already swelled river and city caused the flash flooding and put them into action to save their facility."
There are two buildings that belong to Magic City, their main store and a second building that houses both a service area and parts storage.
At 7 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, Travis received a phone call from an employee informing him that water was flowing into the second facility.
"By 11 a.m., the water was 30 feet from our main building and already 2 feet deep in the second building", he said.
The water should have run downstream, but a levee seemed to have caused the Puppy Dog Coulee and Larson 1 and 2 Coulees to back up and push water back up into the Apple Grove area, one mile east of Minot. That would eventually would flow into Magic City Implement's property.
Travis, along with other employees worked getting inventory picked up off the floor of the second building. "We got the valuable stuff out first," he added. They also had to move the farm equipment and fast. Some of the equipment had been sitting in the lot all winter causing difficulties getting some units started while the water continued to rise. "It is unbelievable; the most flooding I've ever seen in my life," Travis said.
With the water rising so quickly, parts to move, and equipment to evacuate, time was critical.
This is when the community of Minot showed their "true colors," Travis said.
Equipment dealers all over the city, Gooseneck Implement, Butler Machinery Co., and Titan Machinery sent employees down to pitch in.
"Volunteers started popping up everywhere to help move the inventory and people I had never met before in my life stopped by the facility and lent a hand," Travis said. "The community of Minot is strong in terms of people helping people. The response to our situation was tremendous and overwhelming. Without all the volunteers that came and helped, we would not have been able to do it."
With the help of Magic City Implement's employees and many volunteers, they were able to get the equipment moving and taken to dry areas around town.
Travis said the problems actually started a few weeks before the rain event Memorial Day weekend.
He noticed the flap gate was not working on one of the culverts that channel the river water near their facility, causing water to back up on their property.
As a result, they went out and fixed it and then began to pump the water back into the river.
"We were dealing with this problem long before the flash flood on Memorial Day", Travis said.
As the water continued to rise, the decision was made to build a dike to protect their main store.
"We had tons of people coming to help. Some were driving by, and just jumped out of their cars to help", said Travis. With all the help, they were able to begin building a 6-foot dike around the main building.
They hauled in load after load of clay from a hill site near Minot.
On Wednesday, they continued to work, moving files and computers out of the main building, taking them to another offsite location.
If this were not enough, then the second unexpected rain event happened on June 20.
Up in Canada where the Souris River begins and turns into the Mouse River in Minot, N.D., they were hit by over 5 inches of rain in a very short time frame.
"We were actually hauling equipment to Saskatoon and heard all these people coming by and telling us about the flash flooding," Travis said.
Soon they would find out all the water pumped out of the area would be rushing back to their property, but with more force and more water.
Immediately they knew they would have to build a higher dike. They worked around the clock for 40 hours straight, hauling clay for the dike until the dike reached 11 feet high.
Travis and many employees and volunteers did not sleep for several days.
"At that point, I was running on pure adrenaline," he said.
To build the dike, they had help from businesses and many volunteers again. "We have our own payloader and Titan rented us another one. We also used dozers and trucks from a construction business," Travis said. At the same time they were hauling clay for their own dike, they also started hauling clay to help with the dike being built at the State Fairgrounds.
By Wednesday, June 22, the sirens in Minot went off, telling residents in the flood area to evacuate.
This was the point where the levees started to fail and 3,200 homes and many businesses were lost in Minot.
"We were able to move most everything out by then", said Travis.
By this time, the water had reached 4 to 5 feet high in the second building and there was 2 feet of water in the parking lot.
Water kept rising, reaching halfway up on their dike, but all the countless hours and hard work paid off and the dike held up.
"It was tough, but you have to keep a good attitude about it, even though it can wear a guy down," Travis said. "I was happy about the fact the water had not come in the main building."
Magic City Implement is open for business and welcoming people to stop by.
"We're still selling machinery, and you hope your customers understand your situation," he said.
The business departments right now may be located in several areas, but producers are encouraged to call if they need equipment, parts or service.
Magic City Implement will do everything possible to make sure every producer gets what they need this hay and crop season, Travis said.
"The machines are located in different areas, and the service department is at a nearby farm shop, but we're open and taking calls," said Travis.
Magic City Implement is a family owned and operated Case IH and New Holland dealer in Minot, who have been in business for 27 years.