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St. Louis County Board approves disaster declaration amidst flooding

Flooding causes damage across northern Minnesota
Flooding causes damage across northern Minnesota 01:33

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn.  One northern Minnesota county hit hard by recent flooding declared a local state of disaster on Thursday as more rain is expected in the coming days.

The St. Louis County Board had an emergency meeting where members unanimously approved the disaster declaration. 

The declaration enables the county to apply for federal and state money to help with the clean-up.

County commissioners say they're seeing flooding similar to what hit Duluth in 2012 and 2018. The challenge, though, is different this year with rural areas being impacted harder.

National Weather Service Duluth

As of Thursday evening, 43 county roads are closed in St. Louis County. Since Wednesday, 18 roads have been reopened as crews continue to repair washouts.

Due to a washout, Biwabik city officials declared a boil water advisory late Thursday affecting the northeast side of town.

Nearly half of Minnesota has seen about 1.5-4 inches more rain than is typical by this point in June.

One homeowner in Duluth spoke with WCCO after the rain flooded her basement.

"Water was just rushing like rapids," Kristine Schmidt said. "We knew we were in trouble when the rain wasn't stopping."

Property owners can file damage reports with the county assessor online.

An evacuation center for anyone who needs shelter is available in Cook, about a half hour north of Virginia.

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