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A CN train crosses a bridge over a flooded portion of County Road Z south of Superior on Tuesday morning. The road was blocked for much of the day because of flooding in the wake of heavy rain. (Bob King / Forum News Service)

Heavy rain leads to high water in parts of the Northland

DULUTH, Minn. Highways in parts of the Northland showed the effects of close to a half-foot of rain in some locations from Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Highway department crews posted signs and orange cones on roads throughout the northern part of Douglas County where washouts occurred Tuesday, and County Road Z was closed due to 3 feet of water building up beneath a railroad underpass.

“We have numerous locations that water is flowing over our county highways,” Jason Jackman, Douglas County Highway Department commissioner, reported Tuesday morning. “The ground was already saturated and obviously this isn’t helping any.”

Rainfall totals related by the National Weather Service on Tuesday included 5.75 inches at Lake Nebagamon; 4.2 inches near Solon Springs; 4.1 inches near Bruno; and 2.8 inches at Brimson.

Other storm totals included 2.35 inches in Superior, 2.03 inches at the Duluth International Airport, 2.02 inches in Grand Marais and 1.04 inches in Hibbing.

The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District plant in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood reported a total of 2.74 inches of rain from Monday into Tuesday. A WLSSD gauge in Scanlon reported 2.55 inches of rain.

In Superior, high water affected parts of Central Park, with water flowing over a footbridge.

The Carlton County Transportation Department confirmed Tuesday that County Road 8, which runs between Moose Lake and Holyoke, was closed because of high water just west of County Road 103. Water was reported over at least one roadway in Cook County, too.

In Douglas County, the highway department was working closely with sheriff’s deputies Tuesday to identify trouble spots, which Jackman said were occurring consistent with “fairly normal” locations.

“Mostly northern part of the county,” Jackman said. “Highways C, E, Z, U, M — locations that are familiar for the locals down there.”

Skies cleared and some sunshine returned to the region later Tuesday. The forecast for today and Thursday calls for mostly sunny skies and highs near 60.

As of Tuesday afternoon Duluth's yearly precipitation total stood at 33.32 inches — 8.16 inches above normal.

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