Wind, waves batter Duluth shore, forcing road, beach closures

October 10, 2018

Officials in Duluth have closed some roads and beaches along Lake Superior after a storm producing high northeast winds and large waves battered the shoreline this morning, strewing debris and flooding some areas.

Standing water in Canal Park forced the closure of part of Canal Park Drive as well as the lighthouse parking lot by the maritime museum, officials said in a statement. They warned of debris along the Lakewalk Trail behind Canal Park hotels.

Harbor Drive behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center was also deemed inaccessible. And the city closed Brighton beach farther up the shore.

Its all a product of strong winds from the northeast. The National Weather Service in Duluth recorded wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour Wednesday morning and a storm warning was issued for western Lake Superior until 4 p.m., with possible wind gusts of more than 60 miles per hour and 20-foot waves. Lakeshore flood warnings have been issued along the north and south shores. Scattered showers are predicted throughout the day.

Knowing that people might be drawn to the spectacle of huge waves crashing on the shore, city officials advised against going down to the lakeshore for a look. Instead, they suggested staying cozy and watching one of many webcams set up along the lake.

If the wind and water arent enough, northern Minnesota residents are on the verge of an early dose of winter, too.

Snow began falling in the far northern reaches of the state Wednesday morning. Light to moderate snow is expected later Wednesday and overnight, mostly over the north-central part of the state, according to the National Weather Service. Travelers are advised to expect reduced visibility at times and watch for slippery roads, especially during the Thursday morning commute.

The heaviest snowfall is predicted mainly north and west of the Iron Range. The International Falls area could see 3-6 inches of snow, with up to 8 inches accumulating in some spots. A light glaze of ice could be slick underneath it.

Duluth is expected to see less than one inch of snow.

Pam Louwagie 612-673-7102