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Disaster declaration sought for damage from October storm

Large waves on Lake Superior batter the shore at Brighton Beach during Oct. 10's storm in Duluth. (file / News Tribune)

Minnesota’s congressional delegation is asking the president to issue a federal disaster declaration for St. Louis County because of major damage to lakeshore infrastructure in an Oct. 9-11 storm.

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Rep. Rick Nolan, all Democrats, said damage to public property from the storm exceeded $11.5 million. The minimum threshold to qualify for assistance is $7.9 million, they noted.

The storm produced sustained winds nearing 50 mph, gusts of up to 86 mph and waves measuring 20 feet, they wrote. Water levels rose 10 inches and storm surge flooding of Lake Superior occurred in Duluth.

“As a result, much of the area’s shoreline, tourist sites and road and rail lines are significantly damaged,” they wrote.

A disaster declaration from Trump would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help the county and Minnesota gain assistance, they wrote.

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