Hazardous flooding, poor road conditions continueAlthough most of Cloquet (away from the river) is fine today, authorities are warning people not to travel in rural Carlton County today.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Despite the blue skies, water continues to rise in rivers and streams today, and authorities are warning people not to travel in rural Carlton County today.
The city of Moose Lake has declared a state of emergency because of the flooding, the Minnesota Emergency Operations Center reported this morning. Authorities closed a bridge on Minnesota Highway 73. A fishing pier has broken loose on Moosehead Lake and authorities were concerned it could damage the bridge. Minnesota Department of Transportation bridge inspectors plan to inspect the bridge this morning and determine when it can be safely re-opened.
Moose Lake Police Chief Bryce Bogenholm asked that only emergency travel be done in the city as roads continue to deteriorate with rising water levels.
Moose Lake joins Duluth, the state, Superior, Douglas County, Carlton County, Lake County, and Wrenshall in issuing emergency declarations.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that northbound Interstate 35 has reopened this morning between Mahtowa and Highway 210 / Carlton. However, southbound I-35 remains closed in that area.
The DOT said people posted at the barricades on I-35 are trying to help drivers find alternate routes, but that's a challenge given the other roads that are closed around the area from flooding.
Interstate 35 is open across the city of Duluth.
Here are some updates on other roads in the Northland, provided this morning by the DOT and other sources:
• As of 6:15 a.m., Highways 2/53 at the Nemadji River in Superior reportedly were open, but with water on the road and some lane restrictions.
• Highway 33 closed at White Pine River north of Cloquet
• Jay Cooke Road is closed from the bike trail south to Highway 210
• Highway 61 Expressway closed at Knife River with detour in place; Scenic 61 reportedly is open to Two Harbors.
• Highway 61 open at Silver Creek Tunnel, with shoulder damage
• Highway 53 is now open past the Miller Hill Mall. Maple Grove Road is open in the same area; parts of Mall Drive remain closed
• Highway 2 open from Proctor west.
• Highway 23 closed at Fond du Lac
• Highway 210 closed through Jay Cooke State Park
• Highway 210 closed east of McGregor
• Highway 65 closed south of McGregor
• Highway 73 closed west of Moose Lake
• Highway 73 and County 61 closed at Moose Lake
• Midway Road is closed at the Midway River between Highways 2 and 35
• Jean Duluth Road is closed at the Lester River, near Zimmerman Road
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has closed Jay Cooke and Savanna Portage state parks and the campground at Moose Lake State Park at least through the weekend. The iconic Swinging Bridge at Jay Cooke was washed away by the flooding St. Louis River.
In addition, the Willard Munger State Trail from Carlton to Duluth is closed until further notice due to washouts.
According the National Weather Service office in Duluth, this was an historic rainfall event.
According to http://www.crh.noaa.gov:
Three day rainfall amounts of 8 to 10 inches were common across the Minnesota Arrowhead and northwestern Wisconsin from June 17th through June 19th. The heavy rain took its toll on the road infrastructure and caused rivers and streams to flood.
A cold front approached Minnesota from the High Plains on Sunday, June 17th and this front set off numerous thunderstorms through the evening. Duluth NWS received nearly an inch of rain (0.71”). The rains that fell on Sunday had indundated the soil, and created more saturated conditions than normal, which primed the Duluth area for runoff in the extreme rain event that we received. On Tuesday, June 19th another front slowly approached northeastern Minnesota. This front continually formed thunderstorms that developed over east central Minnesota and tracked northeast into the Duluth area, the north shore of Lake Superior and into northwestern Wisconsin. The official rainfall in Duluth on the 19th was 4.14 inches up until 1 am. The thunderstorms finally ended when a strong cold front moved through Wednesday afternoon. The rainfall on the 20th was 3.10”. Total rainfall for the large rainfall event was 7.24”.
Numerous roads were washed out from the deluge of rain from Carlton County through the Duluth metro area and into Douglas County and Bayfield County in Wisconsin.
A state of emergency was declared in Duluth, Hermantown and Superior, WI.