Flood Anniversary: Counties Still Recovering

Posted at: 06/19/2013 6:41 PM | Updated at: 06/20/2013 10:57 AM

St. Louis County has repaired nearly 800 sections of road, but a major project remains in Duluth. Moose Lake suffered extensive damage as well, but the community pulled together to repair their school.

Heavy construction ramped up on Haines Road this summer, and Lead Engineer Steve Krasaway said the rebuild would hold up to any future rain.

“The road will handle rain a lot better than it did prior to the flood. With the new curb and gutter system, storm ponds, rip wrap, erosion control blankets, erosion control mats this road is built to handle all the water that's going to come towards it in the future,” Krasaway said.

Commissioners said the road will be safer for drivers and pedestrians. A new underpass will let hikers and snowmobiles avoid traffic and a sidewalk will run the length of Haines Road. The $11 million project is the largest one in the county's history.

Krasaway said Haines road will reopen in November, but some road repairs will continue into next summer.

Public Works Director Jim Foldesi explained that the flood damage extended far beyond Duluth.

“The storm caused damage across the lower half of the county all the way from Floodwood, Brookston, Duluth, up the North Shore, across the south half of the county all the way up to around the city of Virginia,” Foldesi said.

The scene was calm in Moose Lake on Wednesday, but a year ago flood waters surrounded the school in Carlton County. Linda Dahlman, the school's business manager, said the water rose two feet up the outside walls and was seeping through the bricks into the classrooms.

Dahlman said community members helped the school save what they could from the library despite damage to their own homes.

“Even people whose homes across the way they were all flooded and whose homes were full of water, they couldn't get in they didn't have electricity, they'd come over here and help us,” Dahlman said.

She said the school's been repaired, but many are still working on their homes. She said they will not forget the flood, but they will move forward.

“The community will put it behind them, and they'll move on. And they'll be stronger for it,” Dahlman said.

A referendum to fund a new school in Moose Lake was rejected by residents last month.

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