Duluth cleaning up after damaging storm surge

Image 1 of 3

A storm swept through Duluth, Minn. causing extreme flooding Canal Park business district.

On Thursday, with the storm long gone, the clean-up inside Canal Park is just beginning.

Stone, mud and tree branches washed ashore, burying the sidewalk in the popular tourist hub. The fierce and relentless combination of wind and water, washed out a part of the Lakewalk boardwalk. Temporary fencing shut down the normally picturesque Superior Vantage point.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ Leigh Schwartz called it the worst storm in his 62 years in Duluth.

“I didn’t expect this much rock to come up,” said Schwartz. “There’s a lot more than normal. This is a lot of rock. Lots to clean up.”

Just further down the canal, Aerial Lift Bridge Supervisor Dave Campbell had a front row seat for the vicious October storm.

“Awe, respect - the sheer power of what you think just what water can do,” said Campbell.

He was in the bridge house for the worst of it, watching Mother Nature lash the northland and keeping an eye on out for potential damage to the bridge. Campbell says he will never forget the height of the waves.

“You could literally turn around and look back at the canal and watch the waves go by,” he said. “That wave taller than I am because it would go in front of you, five to six feet atop the pier wall. That’s taller than I am. It’s a huge wave.”

The weather kept the bridge down the entire day. Boat traffic finally resumed with Thursday’s calm.

City officials are in the process for applying for emergency state aid. They expect to have a general cost estimate by next week.