Duluth flood: Statistics, closures and critical information - KMSP-TV

Duluth flood: Statistics, closures and critical information

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  • Duluth flood: Statistics, closures and critical informationMore>>

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DULUTH, Minn. (KMSP) -

The National Weather Service says Duluth, Minnesota had its wettest two-day period ever when flood-producing storms washed over northeastern Minnesota June 19-20.

4.1 inches fell on Tuesday – the second-wettest calendar day in Duluth history (5.2 inches on July 21, 1909). On Wednesday, 3.1 inches fell. Combined, that breaks the previous two-day record of nearly 6.7 inches that fell on July 20-21, 1909.

The rushing water from flash floods in Duluth ripped up streets in and closed countless miles of roads. The damage is extensive, but, miraculously, no one has been seriously hurt.

ROADS WASHED-OUT

There was a close call for one boy in Proctor, Minn. who was swept into a small storm drain and washed nearly a mile before resurfacing. Thankfully he only suffered a cut on his head.

Some drivers were caught off-guard when the road washed away underneath them, swallowing their car.

"It was pretty scary, said Daniel Webster. "You don't really expect to be driving along and have the road give out underneath you and have the water pour up the steering level of a car within a couple of seconds."

HISTORIC FLOOD

Duluth Mayor Don Ness says it could be weeks or months before they know how bad the damage is and how much repairs will cost.

This is the worst flooding to hit Duluth in decades, and a lot of people are comparing this to the floods of 1972.

40 years ago, three major storms sent millions of gallons of water pouring down Duluth's hillsides. Roads were washed away, homes were filled with water and mud and piles of debris were everywhere. The damage was so bad, then-President Nixon declared the city a federal disaster area.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

Engineers from the division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are working with local officials assessing the situation in the Duluth area. This is the first step to determining if the state will request federal resources.

Gov. Mark Dayton and public safety commissioner Mona Dohman and MnDOT commissioner Tom Sorel toured Duluth on Thursday to determine what state assets are needed to assist in the city's recovery.

The governor said it's remarkable there have been no serious injuries or deaths. He also pledged to ensure the state receives any federal assistance for which it is eligible.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPDATE

MOOSE LAKE

The city of Moose Lake has declared a state of emergency following the closing of a bridge on Highway 73. A fishing pier has broken loose on Moosehead Lake and authorities were concerned it could impact the bridge. MnDOT bridge inspectors plan to inspect the bridge Thursday morning and determine when it can be safely re-opened.

The Minnesota State Patrol is now assisting with traffic control in Moose Lake which has become an island, surrounded by flood water. Mercy Hospital and Augustana Mercy Health Care Center in the City of Moose Lake are engaged in contingency planning up to and including evacuation if necessary.

A work crew of 18 offenders and two staff from the Willow River Challenge Incarceration Program are sandbagging in Moose Lake at the request of the city.

Authorities in Willow River in Pine County are evacuating residents.

EVACUATIONS

200 residents of the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth remain displaced.

40 residents in the Thomson area are displaced.

The Red Cross reports 185 residents took shelter Wednesday night in the following centers

  • Fond du Lac Ojibwe School
  • Scanlon Community Center
  • Laura MacArthur Elementary

EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS

  • State of Minnesota
  • Carlton County
  • Lake County
  • City of Duluth
  • City of Moose Lake
  • City of Wrenshall

CAMPERS STRANDED, PARKS CLOSED

The DNR reports there are two groups of campers stranded at Savanna Portage State Park. The seven campers are in contact with park staff and have food and supplies.

The DNR has closed the following state parks at least through the weekend

  • Jay Cooke
  • Savanna Portage
  • Campground at Moose Lake.

Other temporary closures include

  • The Willard Munger State Trail from Carlton to Duluth is closed until further notice due to washouts.

  • Cuyuna County State Recreation Area where the mountain bike trails and Miner's Mountain Road are closed

  • Hill Annex Mine State Park where tours are cancelled for today and questionable for the weekend.

For updates on the status of these and other parks and trails visit www.mndnr.gov or call the DNR information Center at 651-296-6157.

ROAD CLOSURES

New Closures

  • Hwy 73 north of Cromwell
  • Hwy 73 at County Rd. 61 at south end of Moose Lake
  • Hwy 73 and 27, west of Moose Lake at the exit, closed, under water

Updated Road Openings

  • Interstate 35 northbound between Hwy 210 and Mahtowa
  • Highway 2 from Iron Horse Bar and Grill to the golf course

Continued Road Closures

  • Interstate 35 southbound between Hwy 210 and Mahtowa, detour in place
  • Hwy 2 from Floodwood to Brookston
  • Hwy 2 from I-35 to Boundary Avenue in Proctor
  • Hwy 23 from Hwy 39 in New Gary Duluth to just south of St. Louis River in Fond Du Lac
  • Hwy 33 at milepost 9 near Independence
  • Hwy 61 at Knife River, detour in place
  • Hwy 65 eight miles south of McGregor, under two feet of water, detour in place.
  • Hwy 73 west of Moose Lake
  • Hwy 200 between Hwy 2 and Hwy 65, open to local traffic only
  • Hwy 210 from Carlton to Duluth (through Jay Cooke State Park)
  • Hwy 210 four miles east of McGregor, detour in place
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