Property Owners Patching-Up after Winter Storm

One local city is slowly recovering from Lake Superior's furious waves

ASHLAND, Wis.- Weather in the Northland has been relatively calm recently, but some Northlanders are still trying to catch–up after the impacts of the season’s first big storm.

The furious storm that tore through the Northland on October 27th left significant damage in Ashland. Lake Superior waves reached 15 feet high, with winds 35 to 40 mph.

“It was not pretty, it’s pretty now because it’s cleaned up a little bit,” owner Duane Carpenter said. “At the time there was stuff all over the place.”

Boathouse owner Duane Carpenter told FOX 21 he’s eager to pick up the pieces, but doing repairs during the icy months are troublesome. Carpenter has owned the property since 1972, at one spot known by locals as “Gilligan’s Island.”

Metal siding was ripped off of the boat homes and the pieces of wood that used to be docks are now in the lake.

Owners have done what they can to ensure no further damage will be done this winter.

One building was shifted three feet during the storm.

Yellow straps are now in place, to ensure no further damage will occur.

The storm was so powerful, the waves uprooted an 800-pound slab.

Many fixes are underway, but one boathouse needs to be completely repaired.

“You can’t stop mother nature when it starts moving around, you know what I mean,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter also told FOX 21 the damages remind him of a similar storm that hit the Northland a while back.

“It was pretty comparable back to the Fitzgerald storm in 1975, only the storm in 1975 took out four of these boat houses,” Carpenter said. “Just wiped them right out, because the waves were so high.”

Storms such as this are worrisome for Carpenter and his fellow boathouse owners.

The land is park property; if the buildings are completely wiped away, they have no rights to rebuild.

There’s a unique history behind the lakefront huts.

The homes were originally built to house Northland minnow fishermen.

Now the owners gather here with family and friends enjoying Lake Superior.

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