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Winter Storm Damage Prompts State Disaster Assistance

Duluth Winter Storm Damage along shoreline

Living along the shores of Lake Superior can get interesting when a storm rolls through and rogue waves come crashing ashore. That’s what happened when gale force winds from a winter storm caused an estimated $2 million in damages in St. Louis County in October.

A joint state and county preliminary damage assessment found that 18-21 foot waves caused minor flooding which destroyed roads along the inner harbor area of Duluth. Storm debris clogged sewer systems. Parts of the beach were eroded. And sections of the boardwalk were destroyed and closed to tourists until repairs could be made.

Governor Mark Dayton has authorized State Disaster Assistance to reimburse the county for response and recovery costs. The funds will come from the State Disaster Contingency Account. Under the law, the state reimburses 75 percent of eligible costs, with local governments covering 25 percent.   

Ready for a Chemical Spill on Minnesota Railways

CAT members on top of rail car
​A variety of materials are transported on Minnesota’s railways. From grains and livestock, to crude oil and hazardous materials, first responders need to be ready to keep you safe in the event of railway emergency. That is why members of Minnesota chemical assessment teams (CATs) recently trained with local responders, state agencies and railroads in a unique scenario.

First responders worked in tandem with the railroads to identify safety threats on rail cars carrying anhydrous ammonia and chlorine. Their goal was to contain the spill or leak while preserving the safety of those who live and work around the scene.  The training was facilitated by the Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division (HSEM), which manages the state’s 11 CATs. The scenarios played out at a Camp Ripley training facility, which will be enhanced with $3.5M in bonding money that was approved in the last legislative session. 


Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).