Northland Flood of the Century By the Numbers

By KBJR News 1

June 21, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM CST

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Damage estimates are starting to come in and the totals are staggering.

"This event has affected over 3,000 square miles in St. Louis County.. 670 miles of paved highway and 760 miles of gravel road," said Jim Foldesi, St. Louis County Public Works. "We've identified about 12 million dollars worth of site specific locations."

That's with more road assessments to go, and that's not all the damage estimates so far.

"An additional $12 million in system wide repairs that are required." said Foldesi.

What about Duluth?

"Just a portion of repairs is going to be at least $8 million for the storm sewer system," said Jim Benning of Duluth Public Works.

"We're estimating street repairs to be somewhere between 30 and 50 million dollars in Duluth," said Kelly Fleissner, Duluth Maintenance Operations.

Then, there's state highways.

"There are currently 16 sections of our trunk highways that are closed or detoured for various reasons... I can say that we've got more then 20 million dollars in damage on the state highway system in this region," said Duane Hill of MnDOT.

Zero is the amount of electricity generated at two Minnesota Power stations.

"We are not making electricity at either our Thomson station or our Scanlon station because of the flood waters," said Amy Rutledge of Minnesota Power.

There's also the number of deployed Coast Guard water and air units

"Approximately eight fast boats and airboats, and one helicopter that's currently up in the air patrolling over the St. Louis River," said Lt. Commander Alan Moore of the US Coast Guard.

Sheriff Ross Litman said the 911 calls in St. Louis County "1,400 calls in 16 hours", and the Red Cross provided shelter for 200 people in the Northland.

The amount of patience Northlanders may need until normalcy is reached could be a lot.

"This is going to take months in many cases. It'll take upwards to a year and into next year for some of the major items," said David Montgomery, Duluth Chief Administrative Officer.

Damage estimates and assessments are especially important because they are needed for municipalities to apply for state and federal funding to help pay for repairs and clean-up.

These number only tell part of the story because they are very preliminary numbers.

They also don't include damages to any private property areas still not assessed because the water hasn't receded enough.

Officials stressed we're not out the danger zone because the condition of the ground under the roads may not always be what it appears on the surface, and several roads are still unstable.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com

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