Update: Duluth/Northern Minnesota Flooding Brings Flood of Memories
Help rebuild Duluth and the surrounding areas by donating time or money.
Update 11 a.m. June 22: Duluth Mayor Don Ness is asking people to volunteer to help flash flood victims and rebuild the community. Sign up by clicking here and "encourage others to do the same," he wrote. "Let's get to 1000 volunteers by the end of the day - this is your one-stop for all volunteer efforts."
The link above goes to the United Way of Greater Duluth Volunteer Center. Also, Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke has been in Duluth the past couple days - see his photos here.
From Wednesday, June 20:
I am physically in Shakopee today, watching the clouds roll in – yet again.
Mentally, though, I am in Duluth and Cloquet, where I was a reporter and editor for five years before coming to Shakopee last fall.
Water is the reason I love Duluth. Watching what the water – an unprecedented 9 inches of rain in 24 hours – is doing there today is unsettling, to say the least.
In fact, I probably wouldn't believe it if I hadn't briefly spoken to some of my former colleagues and friends this morning.
My former boss at Cloquet's newspaper, the Pine Journal, for example, told me her 40 mile drive to Cloquet from points north was a bit hairy as she was turned back in a few places by water over the roads. She was pretty sure she wouldn't make it home tonight.
She also told me the editor who had gone out this morning to photograph the flooding had to be brought to safety by law enforcement officials.
Another friend in Fond du Lac, near Duluth, said today her family evacuated at 2 a.m. and that the St. Louis River is now flowing through their neighborhood. There's also a small river running where it shouldn't be – toward another friend's house in Thomson, MN.
Reading the Facebook posts by Duluth Mayor Don Ness all day has been surreal, with the latest one being a plea for people to keep their children away from the raging rivers and streams located throughout Duluth.
I know what he means, firsthand. Last August, I was the Duluth News Tribune reporter sent to cover the story of a 13-year-old boy who had disappeared underwater while swimming in a portion of Amity Creek known as "The Deeps." The photographer and I got to the scene fast, so fast that rescue crews asked us to watch the creek – which was running high at the time – in case we saw the boy come through.
The reality of that situation is not something I'd wish on anyone. But, we did not see him. It wasn't until five days later that his body was found in Lake Superior.
So far, no serious injuries have been reported in this event, although an 8-year-old boy has been rescued with minor injuries after he was swept six blocks through a culvert in Proctor, according to a Duluth News Tribune report.
My husband (who was born in Duluth) and I are scheduled to go to Duluth this weekend, where he's supposed to show/sell his art at the Park Point Art Fair. Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke was planning to head to Duluth today for the annual meeting of the League of Minnesota Cities.
Although we'll have to wait and see whether we can go, we do know there will be ample opportunities in the coming weeks to volunteer with cleanup and provide support to the city.
Here are a couple volunteer opportunities, according to the city of Duluth website:
Donations are being accepted through the Red Cross Northland. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcrossmn.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross chapter at 2524 Maple Grove Road, Duluth, MN 55811 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Anyone interested in offering volunteer assistance can call 211 to register.
Do you have ties to Duluth? Memories of enjoying all the area's lakes and waterways? Share them in the comments or blog about them on Patch.