St. Louis County Declares State Of Local Disaster

County May Potentially Receive Millions For Repairs

DULUTH, Minn – The St. Louis County Board unanimously approved a State of Disaster Declaration, Tuesday, Nov. 7.

With Board approval of the declaration, the county will be able to request potential state and federal aid disaster relief dollars, which will help fix soil erosion and damaged roadways caused by the Oct. 27 storm.

“This unique damage to see the impact of the erosion and the impact of the roadways, the Lakewalk itself,” said St. Louis County Administrator Kevin Gray. “I’d just compliment all of the entities for really being diligent about addressing these needs, identifying them and going through the documentation to help the county.”

Findings by damage assessment teams revealed the most significant damage occurred in Canal Park, McQaude Harbor and along the Lake Superior shore.

A Thursday meeting with the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is next.

“From an engineering perspective, we’ll develop more detailed costs on the damage sites and actual plans to fix them,” said St. Louis Public Works Director Jim Foldesi. “We’ll be going out to bids, so basically we’ll put together those project packages. They’ll go out to bids for contractors to bid on.”

The total estimate for repairs is 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 Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
  • $450,000 to St. Louis County infrastructure, including damage 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 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • $114,000 to the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad infrastructure, which runs along the shoreline

All places damaged in St. Louis County will be considered for at least the state threshold of nearly $360,000 and the federal threshold of $750,000.

Overall, the application for disaster aid is expected to be enough to cover more than almost $3.5 million in repairs and that work is expected to begin in 2018.

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