“Flash Flood Emergency” in Duluth: 8″ rainfall totals; 1-2″ more today

700 AM CDT WED JUN 20 2012

…FLASH FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHEASTERN ST.

LOUIS…COOK AND SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTIES UNTIL 430 PM CDT WEDNESDAY…

…A FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY FOR DULUTH AND THE NORTH SHORE…

AT 653 AM CDT…THE RAIN HAD LET UP FOR A TIME ACROSS THE DULUTH

AREA AND ALONG THE NORTH SHORE…BUT ANOTHER AREA OF HEAVY RAIN WILL

MOVE INTO THE AREA AGAIN THIS MORNING. WEATHER OBSERVERS REPORTED

NEARLY 8 INCHES OF RAIN IN THE DENFELD AREA OF WESTERN DULUTH.

EARLY THIS MORNING…MINNESOTA POWER ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WOULD BE

INCREASING THEIR DISCHARGE INTO THE SAINT LOUIS RIVER FROM THE FOND

DU LAC DAM. THE DISCHARGE OF 25000 CFS IS HIGHER THAN NORMAL AND

WILL RESULT IN FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS IN THE FOND DU LAC

NEIGHBORHOOD ALONG THE SAINT LOUIS RIVER. THE FOND DU LAC DAM IS

CURRENTLY NOT AT RISK. THIS WARNING IS TO ALERT PEOPLE ALONG THE

RIVER OF THE POTENTIAL OF FLOODING AND EVACUATIONS HAVE BEEN

ORDERED.

THE DULUTH POLICE DEPARTMENT ADVISES NO TRAVEL IN THE CITY. RAINFALL

OF NEARLY 8 INCHES IN SPOTS WAS NOTED FROM THE DULUTH AREA AND ALONG

HIGHWAY 61 OF THE NORTH SHORE. VARIOUS MEDIA OUTLETS AND LAW

ENFORCEMENT ARE REPORTING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN THE CITY OF

DULUTH…WITH SOME COLLAPSED ROADS AND NUMEROUS ROAD CLOSURES

THROUGHOUT THE CITY. THE FLOOD APPEARS TO BE REMINISCENT OF THE

FLOOD OF 1972 AND ONE THAT SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. THE DULUTH

NEWS TRIBUNE ONLINE LIVE BLOG HAD REPORTS OF PEOPLE BEING

RESCUED…VEHICLES FALLING INTO SINKHOLES ON COLLAPSED ROADS AND

RIVERS AND STREAMS OVERTAKING ROADWAYS.

WE CANNOT STRESS WHAT A MAJOR THREAT THIS IS FOR THE CITY OF DULUTH

AND ALONG THE NORTH SHORE. AGING INFRASTRUCTURE WILL ALSO PLAY A

PART IN THE FLOOD THREAT…ESPECIALLY ON THE HILLSIDE. HIGHWAY 61

REMAINS CLOSED IN SPOTS WITH WASHOUTS…OVERFLOWING STREAMS AND

RIVERS…WASHED OUT CULVERTS AND WASHED OUT ROADS. JUST BECAUSE YOU

MIGHT BE ABLE TO TRAVEL TO A DESTINATION NOW…DOES NOT MEAN YOU

WILL MAKE IT IN ONE TO TWO HOURS. THIS IS HOW FAST THIS SITUATION

MAY DETERIORATE AS MORE RAINFALL MOVES IN FROM THE WEST. THERE IS

THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERAL MORE INCHES OF RAIN TODAY AND THE UTILITY

SYSTEM AND THE SATURATED GROUND CANNOT TAKE MUCH MORE RAIN.

RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLASH FLOODING TO

OCCUR. SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLASH FLOODING

INCLUDE…DULUTH…GRAND MARAIS…ADOLPH…ALGER…ARNOLD…BEAVER

BAY…CASTLE DANGER…CHESTER PARK DULUTH…EAGLE MOUNTAIN…

FINLAND…FRENCH RIVER…GRAND PORTAGE…HERMANTOWN…HOVLAND…

ILLGEN CITY…KNIFE RIVER…LAKEWOOD TWP…LARSMONT…LESTER PARK

DULUTH…LITTLE MARAIS…LUTSEN…MUNGER…MURPHY

CITY…PALMERS…RICE LAKE TWP…SCHROEDER…SILVER BAY…TACONITE

HARBOR…TOFTE AND TWO HARBORS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE

ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS

SAFELY.

FLOODING IS OCCURRING OR IS IMMINENT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHERE

YOU ARE RELATIVE TO STREAMS…RIVERS…OR CREEKS WHICH CAN BECOME

KILLERS IN HEAVY RAINS. CAMPERS AND HIKERS SHOULD AVOID STREAMS OR

CREEKS.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF FLOOD WATERS. ONLY A FEW INCHES OF

RAPIDLY FLOWING WATER CAN QUICKLY CARRY AWAY YOUR VEHICLE.

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