Dayton approves state disaster aid for October storm damage
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday authorized up to $2.12 million in state disaster aid for St. Louis County for damage caused in the Oct. 27 storm.
Under Minnesota law, the state will pay for 75 percent of eligible costs for public infrastructure repairs and clean-up, with local governments responsible for covering the remaining 25 percent.
The price tag for storm damage and cleanup, focused on the Lake Superior waterfront, topped $3.5 million, including about $2.5 million in the city of Duluth, with damage to the Lakewalk trail system and Brighton Beach waterfront park area.
St. Louis County also saw extensive damage to some of its infrastructure along Scenic Highway 61, including many culverts destroyed by wave-whipped rocks and scenic wayside rest areas in danger of crumbling into the lake.
Winds gusting to more than 60 mph whipped the lake into a rarely-seen frenzy during the Oct. 27 storm, with already-high water levels contributing to the problem and 20-foot waves spreading damage farther up on shore than most previous storms.
“The city of Duluth is appreciative of the partnership with St. Louis County to move forward this request in an expedited manner. We thank the governor for his support as we repair and restore our city’s treasured spaces in which residents and visitors take great pride.” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said in a news release Monday, noting that city staff are “committed to restoring our park amenities and infrastructure to their optimum state with a vision towards long-term resiliency.”