Chester creek flood restoration continues

By KBJR News 1

June 25, 2014 Updated Jun 25, 2014 at 9:24 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The June 2012 floods left devastating effects on much of the Northland, and efforts to rebuild some of the most damaged areas continue years later.

In June 2012 Chester Bowl filled with water, as flooding took over the Northland.

"There was a lot of sloughing and banks coming down, trees and a lot of brush," said Julene Boe.

"There was a lot of erosion and a lot of soil and plant material and things that ended up in Chester Creek," said Gina Temple-Rhodes of the St. Louis River Alliance.

Two years later, flood restoration at the Bowl continues...

"Planting trees and trying to stabilize those banks that washed out and there are a lot of opportunities for getting ready for another big flood event if we were to get something like that," said Hilarie Sorensen, a climate change educator.

Climate change experts say there are many ways to prepare for another flood-like disaster.

Many have been used near Chester Creek, since June 2012.

"Retaining water up in the watershed, rain gardens, rain barrels, ways to prevent really fast flows of water right into the creek," said Temple-Rhodes.

"Slow the velocity of the water as it rushes through the stream in these really heavy rainfall events," said Sorensen.

Wednesday's restoration and protection tour of Chester Creek allowed Northlanders to explore some of the most damaged areas during the June 2012 floods.

"There's a number of areas where ya know the side of the hills just come down into the stream," said Boe, who was a sponsor of the event.

Organizers of the tour say the climate is certainly changing, and informing those in the community of these types of changes is important in planning for the future.

"These extreme rain events can lead to a lot of damage, and so if we can prepare ourselves and work on adapting to those, those big events we can prevent future damage," said Temple-Rhodes.

The overall purpose of the tour, organizers say, is to hear public input on stream restoration and protection efforts that will help the stream adapt to future climate change impacts.

The tour is part of a program that promotes climate change adaption, sponsored by Duluth organizations.

Elsa Robins