St. Louis County Board approves disaster declaration after Oct. 27 storm

Duluth’s Brighton Beach is among the areas heavily damaged by the October 27 storm that eroded shorelines and deposited debris in its wake. Submitted / St. Louis County
The County Board today gave unanimous approval to declare a State of Local Disaster in St. Louis County.

The declaration follows the major snow and windstorm on October 27 that led to high waves and significant damage all along the shore of Lake Superior. It is the County’s role to compile damage assessments for all public entities within the county and issue a declaration in order to pursue state and possibly federal public disaster assistance money.

Initial damage assessments total more than $3.4 million for the City of Duluth, St. Louis County, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. The estimate breaks down as follows:

. $2.56 million in the City of Duluth for damage all along the shore, including Park Point, Canal Park, the Lakewalk, Brighton Beach, farther up the shore, and behind the DECC.

. $450,000 to St. Louis County infrastructure, including damaged culverts, and erosion along shorelines, affecting the North Shore Drive (Highway 61) and rest stops along it.

. $430,000 at the McQuade Small Craft Harbor, which is managed by the DNR.

. $114,000 to the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad infrastructure, which runs along the shoreline.

Following today’s declaration, County staff will meet with representatives from Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) later this week to review the initial assessments and begin the process of determining if the damage meets the threshold to receive public disaster assistance.

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