Water levels drop as NE Minn. takes a look at disasterby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
Water levels are slowly dropping in northeastern Minnesota. The region was hit by record rains this week, which caused widespread flooding.
Much of Duluth is getting back to normal, but there are still some neighborhoods that are cut off. Especially hard hit is the Fond du Lac neighborhood southwest of downtown, where roughly 80 of the 200 homes are uninhabitable.
"I just got back from (the) Fond du Lac neighborhood down looking at, seeing what's going on down there. It's is truly a mess," says Dave Montgomery, the chief administrative officer for the city. "But it's encouraging to see the community's out and about. They're already actively trying to clean up."
Police have set up security roadblocks, usually allowing only residents to enter the neighborhood.
So far there are no reports of looting, but Duluth police stressed that homeowners should be careful to check out cleaning and repair companies before letting them take any possessions.
Travel is still problematic as well.
Jim Foldesi, the public works director for St. Louis County, says 60 bridges are closed in the county.
"Currently we have 93 roads closed," he says. "We've actually increased over the last day and a half the number of closures. So that kind of highlights how this event is still ongoing at this point. That water's still traveling through the drainage systems. We're actually having more roads being closed than opened at this point."
Officials say local rivers could be above flood stage for the next week.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to begin a detailed assessment of the damage next week. For the city of Duluth alone that could be as much as $80 million.