Fond du Lac Neighborhood Still Dealing with Flood One Month Later

By KBJR News 1

July 20, 2012 Updated Jul 20, 2012 at 6:09 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- One month ago, a stalled storm parked itself over the Northland, dumping torrential rains all night and into the day. Close to ten inches of rain fell on June 20th, wreaking havoc with homes, streets, and businesses.

The City of Duluth is recovering quickly from the flood of the century, but one of the hardest hit neighborhoods is still struggling every day.

"I remember coming down the hill to get to city hall and seeing the manhole covers blown off and chunks of road streaming down," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

Ness says in one month, progress has been made.

"I'm really proud of our crews, both city crews and county crews as well as the contractors that we have been working with. Every body has been so focused on the rebuilding process and doing it right," said Ness at this office Friday.

In Duluth's Fond du Lac neighborhood, the past month has been especially rough.

"There were log jams that were 12 feet high and hundreds of yards long," said Fond du Lac resident Michael Cochran.

"Our yard got two to three feet of mud all the way through it. We've been mudding it for a few weeks," said John Palkie, who has been living in Fond du Lac for years.

Lawns that were once green are now dry and brown, homes sit vacant and the quiet Water Street in Fond du Lac is still in bad shape.

"It's a different level of devastation and this was the area of the city that was most directly affected especially on the private property side," said Mayor Ness.

But hope persists, day after day in Fond du Lac.

"As far as recovering from the flood I think things are under control," said Cochran.

"We're really seeing the best side of people, through-out the whole thing," said a hopeful Palkie.

"We've seen the character of the people of Fond du Lac neighborhood and the city of Duluth by how they've come out in large numbers and reach out a helping hand in need," said Ness.

That's what people do in Fond du Lac; they help their neighbors and they keep their spirits up as they head into the next month of recovery.

The residents of Fond du Lac say city crews, Duluth Police, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation were crucial in helping restore some sense of normalcy.

Zach Vavricka

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