Duluth Roads Collapse, Sinkholes Swallow Cars
Posted at: 06/20/2012 7:38 PM
| Updated at: 06/20/2012 7:58 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
The damage is breathtaking. "The roads are just a disaster around here," Greg Vogt, with Expert Tire in Duluth said.
In and around Duluth, roads collapsed and sinkholes swallowed cars. On East Skyline Drive a car sits 10 feet below the surface of the road, in a massive sinkhole.
Deep water left some vehicles totaled, like a Volvo behind Expert Tire, and a Chevy Tahoe near the interstate.
"Water was all the way up to the retaining wall," Matt Kebhart said, talking about a three-foot wall in front of the interstate.
Kebhart works at an auto body shop on London Road. Behind it, a dumpster sat in a deep pool of standing water. "That dumpster, I don't even know where it came from," he said.
On St. Marie Street, Eyewitness News got footage of the flooding from a kayak and found a car almost completely submerged. Also underwater, the front steps of homes.
All the water came from torrential rains. Early Wednesday morning, the prompted normally calm, tame rivers to erupt.
Duluth streets turned into rivers themselves. The water brought chunks of roadway with it.
"Water was blowing up through the roads--completely washed out--boulders were rolling down the road," Vogt said.
Across from where he works on the East Hillside, an abandoned car sits with its front end in a sinkhole, and the back up in the air. The roadway above it is shredded from the water--an example of the condition of roads all across the city.
On Piedmont Ave, heavy rains cased a mud slide. It blocked the entire road, but no one was hurt. Joe Perfetti, of Duluth, was trying to get home.
"I can't believe this devastation. It's unbelievable," he said. "I've seen them in California but I've never seen them here."
Of the dozens Eyewitness Spoke to Wednesday, the storm damage is like nothing they've ever seen.
"Thinking about what the whole city structure looks like now, this is definitely a case for FEMA to walk in on. We're in bad shape," Vogt said.