Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Flood
-- Flood Cause Heavy Rain
State MINNESOTA
County/Area CARLTON
WFO DLH
Report Source River/Stream Gage
NCDC Data Source CSV
Begin Date 2012-06-20 01:30:00.0 CST-6
Begin Location 1NW CARLTON
Begin Lat/Lon 46.68/-92.44
End Date 2012-06-28 10:00:00.0 CST-6
End Location 6NW CLOQUET
End Lat/Lon 46.79/-92.53
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 0.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative An east to west front stalled just south of the area, across southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin early on June 19th: There was high humidity and record-breaking heat to the south of the front. Low pressure moving along the front reached southern Minnesota during the pre-dawn hours of June 20th. The low forced the warm humid air up over relatively cool air over northeast Minnesota, resulting in an area of strong thunderstorms with copious amounts of moisture and rain. The resulting June 19th and 20th rainfall amounts formed a sharp gradient along its southern boundary. Two inches or more rain fell north of a line from Little Falls through Mille Lacs Lake to Willow River and Bruno, in Pine County and just south of Superior WI. Immediately north of that line, rainfall was over 4 inches in a 70 mile wide and at least 250 mile long band from southern Cass and Crow Wing counties east-northeastward along and south of the crest of the Iron Range, including the entire Duluth area, through the North Shore and the open waters of Lake Superior. More than a half foot fell across Carlton County, the southern quarter of St Louis County and the southern tip of Lake County. Rainfalls were 10 inches or more, according to the final MN Dept of Natural Resources map, in a 10 mile wide band along the Lake Superior shore including all of the residential Duluth area northeastward, for 75 miles, through the Two Harbors area. Another area with 10 inches or more of rain was to the west in a 15 mile wide band from central Carlton County running north for 50 miles, just east of Floodwood, and to the southern edge of the Iron Range. This widespread rainfall event broke all records in northeast Minnesota, though such events have, in the past, occurred elsewhere in Minnesota. And, the rainfall resulted in widespread flooding and record-breaking stream and river levels. Most of the rain fell during a 12 hour period from the evening of the 19th through the early morning of of June 20th. The northern edge of heavy rain, with two inches of rain, extended from Cass Lake east-northeast through Hibbing and Embarrass to Ely, then straight northward, with all of Lake and Cook Counties receiving well over 2 inches of rain. The huge thunderstorm complex also produced areas of hail and locally damaging wind.
A Governor's Execute Order declaring a state of emergency was announced for Cook, Lake, St. Louis, and Aitkin counties. The National Guard was activated.
Numerous roads and bridges were washed out from the deluge of rain from Carlton County through the Duluth area and along the north shore of Lake Superior.
A raging Kingsbury Creek flooded the Lake Superior Zoo, drowning many animals. Two seals were swept from their enclosures, but were returned safely after being found on a local street. The polar bear escaped its exhibit, but was safely returned after being tranquilized.
An 8 year-old boy was pulled into a culvert while playing in the flood waters in Proctor. He was swept through the culvert for six blocks, but besides some scrapes, was unharmed.
Much of the towns of Thomson, Carlton, Barnum and Moose Lake in Carlton County and the Fon du Lac neighborhood of Duluth were flooded due to the over topping of water at the Thomas Dam spillway and Reservoir. Highway 210 through Jay Cooke State Park was washed away as was the park's historic swinging pedestrian bridge over the St. Louis River. The park was closed through the rest of the summer and likely into 2013.
Big Sandy Lake in Aitkin County flooded hundreds of properties. The lake is connected to the Mississippi River by a dam, but the Army Corps of Engineers could not let any of the lake water out due to the river levels being too high. That area hadn't seen such severe flooding since 1950.
A Presidential Disaster Declaration was proclaimed for Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis counties as well as the Fon Du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
Total damage for the entire area of northeast Minnesota was estimated at least $108 million.
Event Narrative Flooding of the St Louis River began at the Scanlon gage at 1:30 AM CST on June 20th when it reached a level of 10.50 feet. The St Louis River reached a record-breaking crest of 16.66 feet at 3 am CST on June 21. The St Louis River returned below its flood stage of 10.50 feet on June 28th at 10:00 AM CST. Businesses and a campground near the river were flooded.


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All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 0 2.391M 0.00K
AITKIN AITKIN CO. MN 06/17/2012 23:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PINE RIVER CASS CO. MN 06/19/2012 12:18 CST-6 Hail 0.75 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
CROSS LAKE CROW WING CO. MN 06/19/2012 12:30 CST-6 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MANHATTAN BEACH CROW WING CO. MN 06/19/2012 12:30 CST-6 Hail 0.75 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FIFTY LAKES CROW WING CO. MN 06/19/2012 12:36 CST-6 Hail 1.00 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MINNEWAWA AITKIN CO. MN 06/19/2012 13:20 CST-6 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PALISADE AITKIN CO. MN 06/19/2012 13:20 CST-6 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HUNTERS PARK ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 14:42 CST-6 Hail 0.75 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BENNETT ITASCA CO. MN 06/19/2012 16:43 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
GRAND RAPIDS ITASCA CO. MN 06/19/2012 16:45 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
GRAND RAPIDS ARPT ITASCA CO. MN 06/19/2012 16:54 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SILVER BAY LAKE CO. MN 06/19/2012 16:58 CST-6 Hail 2.00 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SILVER BAY LAKE CO. MN 06/19/2012 16:59 CST-6 Hail 0.88 in. 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 18:45 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 18:56 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HUNTERS PARK ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 18:57 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HERMANTOWN ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 18:59 CST-6 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HERMANTOWN ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:00 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
KNIFE RIVER LAKE CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:00 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 1.900M 0.00K
KETTLE RIVER CARLTON CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:18 CST-6 Thunderstorm Wind 50 kts. EG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:27 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HUNTERS PARK ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:29 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 19:32 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
BRAINERD CROW WING CO. MN 06/19/2012 20:23 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HIGEN CITY LAKE CO. MN 06/19/2012 20:23 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 191.00K 0.00K
CROW WING CROW WING CO. MN 06/19/2012 23:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HERMANTOWN ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/19/2012 23:24 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SOUTHERN ST. LOUIS/CARLTON (ZO... SOUTHERN ST. LOUIS/CARLTON (ZO... MN 06/19/2012 23:50 CST-6 High Wind 51 kts. MG 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 01:26 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
CARLTON CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 01:30 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
DULUTH INTL ARPT ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 04:34 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
(BRD)WEILAND FLD BRA CROW WING CO. MN 06/20/2012 05:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
SAGINAW ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 05:30 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HERMANTOWN ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 06:15 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
MISSABE JCT ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 06:26 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ESKO CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 07:00 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ESKO CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 07:00 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
LIBBY AITKIN CO. MN 06/20/2012 08:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
LONGVILLE CASS CO. MN 06/20/2012 09:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 300.00K 0.00K
DULUTH HGTS ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 10:35 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
ESKO CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 10:35 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
HARNEY CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 10:56 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FOND DU LAC ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 13:50 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FRIESLAND PINE CO. MN 06/20/2012 17:00 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
FLOODWOOD ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/20/2012 17:23 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
CARLTON CARLTON CO. MN 06/20/2012 17:24 CST-6 Flash Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PEQUAYWAN LAKE ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/21/2012 07:19 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
PEQUAYWAN LAKE ST. LOUIS CO. MN 06/21/2012 07:19 CST-6 Flood 0 0 0.00K 0.00K
Totals: 0 0 2.391M 0.00K