Duluth area staggered by historic flooding

9:42 AM, Jun 21, 2012   |    comments
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DULUTH, Minn. - Hundreds of people are out of their homes and parts of the land have been washed away after several inches of rain turned into flash flooding in and around Duluth.

Historic flooding has turned roads into rivers and cars have been traded in for canoes.

KARE 11's SKY-11 helicopter captured incredible video of the mass flooding in the Duluth area.

"It's just incredible," said resident Barb Samarzia. "This is by far the worst I've seen."

The worst flooding seems to have taken hold in Fond du Lac and Thomson, southwest of Duluth where about seven dozen homes were evacuated, effecting nearly 300 people.

By road, it was almost impossible to get to; by air it was almost implausible to look at.

"It's unreal. I can't even put into words," said Rob Kay of Hermantown. I've never seen anything like it. This is the stuff you see on TV, not personally."

Several people gathered near a car dealership in town where a number of cars were submerged.

Peter Bagley came to pick up his wife's car that was supposed to be ready after repairs.

"They told me it was done today. We came to pick it up and can't really get there," said Bagley.

Perhaps a few thousand dollars lost for him, closer to a million dollars for Michael Cameron who is the general manager at Mont Du Lac Ski Hill outside of Fond du Lac.

"We knew we had a lot of water coming at us," he said. "We got so much in such a quick time that it is overwhelming what happened here."

His property, like many out here, is littered with mud slides that damaged parts of the hill and took with it expensive piping.

"You could hear trees snapping and kind of like a rumble and thunder and all of a sudden the ground was gone," he said.

Now the cleanup begins as he and others try not to focus on the landscape they have grown to love.

"I just try not to do that right now. I need the sun to come out," he said.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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