Flash Flooding Wreaks Havoc in Duluth, Minn.
By Alex Kasdin
After 18 hours of rain, the most rain the city of Duluth, Minn., has seen at once in nearly 150 years, flash floods wreaked havoc on the city on Wednesday. The floods followed 10 inches of rain and were more severe than any floods that have occurred there in the past 100 years, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Creeks became raging rivers and the rushing waters ripped apart city streets and created sinkholes. Two hundred and fifty people were evacuated from the Fond du Lac neighborhood, which is the lowest of the neighborhoods in Duluth. The mayor of Duluth, Don Ness, told the Associated Press that “Fortunately . . . it’s a relatively small number of households that are being evacuated . . . most homes in Duluth are farther up the hill.”
Credit: Andrew Krueger/Duluth News-Tribune/AP
The floods also washed out parts of highways outside the city and left around 300 homes without power, according to the Star Tribune. The governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, declared a state of emergency for the area.
One 8-year-old boy fell into the quickly moving waters and was pulled along for around a half mile until he safely came out of the water, with only a few cuts and bruises. No serious injuries were reported.
The floods took a toll on the Lake Superior Zoo. The Director of Animal Management at the zoo, Peter Pruett, told the Associated Press that water marks at the zoo indicate the floods reached a level of 14 feet. This flooding drowned 13 barnyard animals. Two of the zoos harbor seals, Feisty and Vivian, were found outside of the zoo property and were returned safely to the homes. Berlin, the zoo’s polar bear, was able to climb onto the wall that surrounds her exhibit because of the rising waters. The zoo vet tranquilized her and she was quarantined.
The people of Duluth hope they will have a few days without rain to assess damage and recover. There is a 50 percent chance of rain in Duluth on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.