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NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Lead PIO  (651) 201-7477
EOC.PIO.LEAD@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2012
Northeast Minnesota Flood Update - Number 9
Moose Lake Sewage Treatment Facility Compromised
ST PAUL —Flooding has impacted the Moose Lake sewage system, and city officials are developing plans in the case evacuation becomes necessary for patients at the Mercy Hospital and Augustana Mercy Health Care Center.
 
Prisoners at the Moose Lake state correctional facility and patients at the Moose Lake treatment facility will shelter in-place in the case evacuation becomes necessary. Officials are bringing in showers and restroom facilities.
 
Officials are reminding residents in any of the affected areas to contact their county emergency management officials with questions or requests for assistance.
 
Updated Public Information
 
HSEM
  • The state has established a webpage for the latest recovery information about the Northeast Minnesota flooding: http://bit.ly/Mm5vjW. The site provides links to personal recovery information and any official disaster recovery information from state and local authorities.  Check the page frequently for the latest news.
  • Engineers from the division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management continue to work with local officials assessing the situation in the Duluth area. This is the first step to determining if the state will request federal resources.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated coordinating emergency assets to local jurisdictions.  The Joint Information Center continues to provide summaries of updated public information.
  • Follow HSEM on Twitter at Twitter.com/MnDPS_HSEM #mnstorms and like HSEM on facebook.com/MnHSEM for updates and photos from the Duluth area.
Evacuations
  • Two hundred residents of the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth remain displaced.
  • Forty residents in the Thomson area are displaced.
  • Twenty-five households from Willow River were evacuated.
Evacuation Sites
The Red Cross reports 185 residents took shelter last night in the following centers:
  • Fond du Lac Ojibwe School 
  • Scanlon Community Center
  • New location  — Secondary Tech  Center, Duluth
The Salvation Army is providing meals.
 
Emergency Declarations
  • State of Minnesota
  • Carlton County
  • Lake County
  • City of Duluth
  • City of Moose Lake
  • City of Wrenshall
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)
MDH has created a webpage for health-related flood information: http://www.health.state.mn.us/2012flood.
 
Department of Corrections (DOC)
A work crew of 18 offenders and two staff from the Willow River Challenge Incarceration Program are sandbagging in Moose Lake at the request of the city.
 
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Currently conducting evacuations in Rutledge/Willow River/Sturgeon Lake area.
  • All DNR shallow water boats being readied and deployed in response to requests.
  • Ten DNR conservation officers and one DNR helicopter pilot have been deployed.
  • Resources requested: DNR helicopter with pilot and one conservation officer for video recording; air boat and Pro Drive jet boat; two tunnel boats, ATVs, regular boats and pickup trucks — all local Duluth resources.
  • Road closure barricades and signs for closing Jay Cooke State Park have been loaned to DNR by the City of Grand Rapids.
  • Currently surveying damage to DNR facilities, trails, and roads to ensure public safety.
  • Inspecting Moose Lake Fish Pier overnight and coordinating with DNR Parks & Trails to prevent bridge damage.
  • Currently 16 DNR conservation officers on duty in Carlton/Duluth and North Shore areas including 2 officers with airboats from and enforcement helicopter.
State Park Information:
  • Savannah Portage State Park: All seven guests at Savannah are in the process of being evacuated. Travel to the park is difficult because several of the surrounding roads are closed, and there are smaller washouts throughout the drive through the park. Hwy 65 north of the park remains open and is the best option to get there.
  • Jay Cooke State Park: will likely be closed until mid-July. The swing bridge at Jay Cooke washed away. Power is back on at Jay Cooke, but no phone, internet, municipal water or sewer.  Hwy. 210 between River Inn and Oldenburg Point is not passable. Hwy. 210 between park office and Thompson is not passable. Formal damage assessments will be done over the next few days.
  • Other northeastern Minnesota state parks: Most state parks in the northeastern Minnesota region sustained little or no damage and most are open for business. The waterfalls are incredible right now. The primary issue is safe travel routes around Duluth that will allow visitors to get to the North Shore.
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT )
 
MnDOT is relocating employees and resources from across Minnesota to help with flood response. 
 
New Road Closure
The I-35 exit ramp to Moose Lake is closed.
 
Updated Road Openings
  • I-35 between Hwy 210 and Mahtowa — both southbound and northbound lanes now open
  • Hwy. 2 from Iron Horse Bar and Grill to the golf course
  • Hwy. 200 between Hwy 2 and Hwy 65 — opening at 6 p.m.
Continued Road Closures
  • Hwy. 2 from Floodwood to Brookston
  • Hwy. 2 from I-35 to Boundary Avenue in Proctor—temporary road project now permanent road closure due to flooding
  • Hwy. 23 from Hwy 39 in New Gary Duluth to just south of the St. Louis River in Fond Du Lac, completely closed evacuating the community.
  • Hwy. 33 at milepost 9 near Independence
  • Hwy. 61 at Knife River, detour in place
  • Hwy. 65 eight miles south of McGregor, under two feet of water, detour in place.
  • Hwy. 73 west of Moose Lake
  • Hwy. 73 north of Cromwell
  • Hwy. 73 at County Rd. 61 at south end of Moose Lake
  • Hwy. 73 and 27, west of Moose Lake at the exit, closed, under water
  • Hwy. 73 north of Floodwood
  • Hwy. 210 from Carlton to Duluth (through Jay Cooke State Park)
  • Hwy. 210 four miles east of McGregor, detour in place
Due to flooding, travel is not advised until conditions improve and MnDOT crews can make progress to recover roadways.
 
For updated information, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.
 
Department of Commerce
 
Help With Insurance Claims
The Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Response Team (CRT) is ready to help consumers in the event of a natural disaster. Insurance experts at the CRT can help Minnesotans understand their rights, work with your insurer to settle a claim, and help storm victims make informed insurance decisions after a flood or storm damages your home, auto, or property.
 
CRT representatives are available to assist Minnesota consumers between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. The CRT can be reached by phone at (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602 (Greater Minnesota) or by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us
 
Damage to Furnaces and Water Heaters
Following severe weather or flooding, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has resources available to provide certain repair services to income eligible households. Available services for income eligible households (200 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines) may include:
  • Primary heating system replacements and repairs, including ductwork and venting, flue or chimney repairs
  • Water heater replacement or repair, including venting and flue work
  • Furnace repair or replacement
These services are considered for homes affected by a disaster only after all private insurance, FEMA and other disaster-related resources have been utilized. In addition, qualifying households must be located in a designated disaster area and be directly affected by the disaster. 
 
Individuals interested in learning more about these resources should contact their local service provider or contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Energy Information Center by phone at (800) 657-3710 or by email at energy.info@state.mn.us.
 
As the summer continues the risk for severe weather across Minnesota remains probable. For that reason, Commissioner Mike Rothman encourages all Minnesotans to review their insurance coverage, make a detailed home inventory of their possessions, and make all necessary preparations for severe weather damage to their homes, autos, and property.
 
“Make no mistake: more wind, hail, rain, and storms are coming – it is not a matter of if, but when,” Rothman said. “Now is the time for all Minnesotans to review their insurance needs and take a detailed inventory of their possessions.”
 
Under Rothman’s leadership, the Commerce Department has developed a one-stop Disaster Information Center to help Minnesotans review their insurance needs and prepare accordingly for natural disasters that may damage their home, auto, or property. Some of the tips included in the Center are:
 
Complete a Home Inventory
The Department of Commerce urges consumers to take inventory of their belongings ahead of the summer storm season. Research suggests that 48 percent of consumers do not have an inventory of their possessions. Of those who do, 32 percent have no photos and 58 percent have no receipts.
 
This Home Inventory Checklist walks consumers through each room of their home, helping compile a list of their property. By completing the checklist, homeowners who file a claim or qualify for assistance will know what they had in their home that may need to be replaced. Consumers can also download a free home inventory app for iPhone or Android.
 
Information for Renters
If you rent and you do not have renter's insurance you may want to consider purchasing coverage. Renter's insurance is relatively inexpensive and portable. The average renter's insurance policy costs between $15 and $30 per month and can cover everything from electronics to clothing to household appliances. Replacing all your possessions in the wake of a storm will cost much more.
 
Auto Coverage
Storms can damage autos in a number of ways: hail damage to the exterior and glass; wind driven debris damage; damage from fallen trees; and tornado damage. Coverage for these types of losses is provided by your policy under the Comprehensive portion of the auto policy. Ask your insurance agent how much coverage you have. For more information about auto insurance, click here.
 
What to Do After a Storm
If a storm damages your property, follow these simple steps:
  • Be safe: Look out for downed power lines, etc. Do not try to go into an area until the official time is given.
  • Call your insurance company to report the damage: They will send out adjusters to review the damage and assess the loss. Take photos of the damage and remove personal property if your home cannot be secured. Do not dispose of property until an insurance adjuster has reviewed it for your claim. Many policies include reimbursement for storage costs incurred until your home is repaired.
  • Beware of storm-chasing contractors: Do not agree to a contract without checking their references and checking with the Department of Labor's Residential Contractors Division at (651) 284-5069.
  • Call the Minnesota Department of Commerce. For questions regarding insurance call the Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Response Team at (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602. You can also visit our website.
 
Contact: Phone:  (651) 201-7477
 
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445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov