Duluth crews assess damage, warn residents 'It's not safe'

11:27 AM, Jun 21, 2012   |    comments
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DULUTH, Minn. - Authorities in Duluth are sending out crews to assess flood damage, and try to shore up unsafe infrastructure.

Deputy Police Chief Robin Roeser says authorities are "urging people to stay away from streams and any trails that are near the streams because all of it is compromised."

Roeser says with Thursday's nice weather, officials are concerned people will be attracted to the water rushing through town.

He estimates damage costs will be the tens of millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, residents evacuated from the low-lying Fond du Lac neighborhood are not being allowed back in their homes just yet. Authorities are still manning barricades.

Roeser says: "It's not safe. The water is higher than anybody can remember it ever being."

The Red Cross says nearly 200 people stayed in shelters overnight.

In other area developments, the city of Moose Lake made a disaster declaration after a large pier broke loose and is threatening the Highway 73 bridge, which has already been closed.

And 70 miles west of Duluth seven campers are stranded after flood waters washed out their only exit route.

The assistant manager of Savanna Portage State Park in McGregor says two groups of campers are temporarily stuck Thursday while an excavating crew rushes to rebuild the road.

She says the campers are outside cell phone coverage, but that park rangers were able to reach them by all-terrain vehicle and both groups decided to stay with their vehicles.

Assistant park manager Sandy Wells says both groups are in good spirits, have plenty of food and are enjoying their adventure. She says park officials hope to have the road rebuilt by Thursday afternoon.

Savanna Portage is a 16,000-acre state park about 70 miles west of Duluth. 


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

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