Friday Jun 22, 201212:01 AM GMT
Worst ever Duluth, Minnesota flood causes $80 million in damage
Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:0AM
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Duluth officials on Thursday estimated damage at up to $80 million just to the city's public infrastructure from the flood that swamped the northeast Minnesota city and nearby communities this week.


The flooding, which left huge sinkholes and ripped up dozens of roads, also forced hundreds of people from their homes and killed several zoo animals.


Mayor Don Ness said the flood was the worst in the history of the Lake Superior port city, surpassing a 1972 flood both in damage and rainfall, and he estimated the damage to public infrastructure at $50 to $80 million dollars.


"It has overwhelmed our storm water system. It has damaged our street system, our parks and trails have been decimated by this storm," he said.


Ness met with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and state officials in Duluth on Thursday to assess possible state and federal aid for flood recovery.


"It's horrific," Dayton told reporters after a tour of flood-damaged areas. "To see wipeouts of whole roads that I've been traveling on for years and the vastness of the impact here and the impact on some of the key industries, the paper mills and the taconite production is really very concerning."


There were close calls, but no deaths have been reported from the flooding caused by up to 10 inches of rain. Chicago Tribune




From June 17 to 20, the arrowhead of Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin were inundated with 8-10 inches of rain. In Duluth, 7.24" of rain fell Tuesday and Wednesday, the wettest two-day period on record. Massive flooding swept through the region. Washington Post


The floodwaters submerged two-thirds of the Lake Superior Zoo, drowning 11 animals. Washington Post


Gov. Mark Dayton, who toured flood-ravaged areas on Thursday, said he was committed to providing state resources, and would work to speed the process of getting appropriate federal aid.


Dayton, issued an executive order Wednesday declaring a state of emergency for the popular tourist region and three other counties hit hard by recent storms. Mayor Don Ness also declared a state of emergency for Minnesota's fourth-largest city.


State officials said Thursday about 200 residents from the Fond du Lac neighborhood in Duluth and 40 from the Thomson, Minnesota, area remained displaced. Reuters




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