Waves Crash into Canal Park Causing Flooding

Lake Avenue and Canal Park Drive have been closed off to non-residents south of Buchanan Street

DULUTH, Minn. – Major flooding in Canal Park as Lake Avenue and Canal Park Drive are now closed off past Buchanan Street to all non-residents.

Waves continue to crash over the breakwater walls surrounding the canal, bringing huge amounts of water into the parking lots and streets.

“It’s spectacular and it’s frightening at the same time,” said Anne Wolf while watching the waves from near the lift bridge.

All day long, spectators flocking to the waterfront to watch the power of Lake Superior on display.

“It’s amazing. I have tried to come up here and catch the big waves before. I’ve never caught it quite like this today so I’m really impressed,” said Eric Christensen, who drove to Duluth to watch the storm.

One to two feet of water is drowning city streets near the lift bridge causing traffic delays.

“What’s happening is as you try to cross the bridge the water is so high everybody slows down and the traffic is backing up all the way onto Railroad and beyond so if you want to go down there, you can go down there, we’re just discouraging it,  said Greg Guerrero, Duluth’s street maintenance manager. “If you don’t have any business down there, please stay away.”

But people have been gathering in Canal Park as much as a weekend in July, snapping pictures and shooting video of the scene.

“I’d have to recommend it to any photographer or anyone who just likes to see extreme weather,” said Dawn Frider who was visiting from Denver.

Some of those images can be dangerous to capture. Officials recommend people stay back from the waves and city crews working, stressing that barriers are there for a reason, that they should not be crossed.

“Yes, it is an interesting thing to see, the power of Lake Superior but, again, we need to be respectful of that power of Lake Superior. It can be very deadly very quickly,” said Keith Hamre, the city’s Acting Chief Administrative Officer.

City officials say they will begin assessing the damage caused by the storm on Thursday morning, this all coming after much of the waterfront infrastructure has yet to be repaired from a devastating storm last October.

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