Flooding calls for State Emergency Operations Center to be Activated

By KBJR News 1

Flooding calls for State Emergency Operations Center to be Activated

July 2, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated the state emergency operations center at 7:30 a.m. in response to flood conditions in the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis.

Updated information:
• Duluth police are reporting half the Fond du Lac area of Duluth is under evacuation. The town of Thomson is also partially evacuated at this time.

• Air operations are suspended in the Northeast area of Minnesota.

• The state Emergency Operations Center secured two pumps for St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth.

• Two evacuation sites have been opened: Copper Top Church in Duluth and the Carlton High School where residents can receive food and shelter. The Red Cross is staffing the sites.

• Three Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles are en-route to Duluth to prepare for mass feeding if necessary.

• The city of Duluth is advising the public to limit travel to emergency situations.

• Residents in Lake County can again dial 911 for emergency services. Lake County 911 calls are being answered by Itasca County.

• The office of Minnesota Management and Budget is reporting all state offices in the executive branch in the city of Duluth will be closed until noon today. Employees and the public are asked to monitor www.bereadymn.com

• Several roads are closed or detoured in northeastern Minnesota due to flooding, erosion and mudslides. Current road closures include:
- Interstate 35 south of Carlton
- Highway 53 near Miller Hill Mall
- Highway 33 in Cloquet
- Interstate 35 in Duluth, various areas
- Highway 2 in Proctor
- Highway 23 south of Duluth
- Highway 23 in Fond du Lac
- Highway 210 completely closed through Jay Cooke State Park
- Highway 61 near Silver Cliff Tunnel
- Highway 61 at Knife River

Numerous road shoulders are also washed out due to flooding.

Travel is not advised due to flooding until conditions improve and MnDOT crews can make progress to recover roadways.

Motorists should plan accordingly. When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.

For updated information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.