Windstorm recap

MNICS LOGO 2The MNICS IMT-C demobilized yesterday afternoon from the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. Here is a final recap from the 2016 July windstorm incident:

Superior National Forest

crews work on broken limbs and downed trees at the superior national forest

A July 23 report indicates that a 3-by-10-mile area was impacted during the July 21 storm in the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Area Canoe Wilderness. The affected area runs from Hook Lake west through Cummings and Crab Lake then south to Burntside Lake. The eastern boundary runs from Ima Lake south to Hudson Lake. Portages, lakes and campsites outside this area are also affected by fallen trees. Affected lakes include: Fall, Wood, Wind, Snowbank, Disappointment, Thomas, Moose, Pipestone, Basswood, Crab Burntside and Munro. Crews have made great progress since Thursday but several weeks of clean up may be ahead. (Photos by Rebecca Manlove).

Superior National Forest

Itasca State Park

Detailed Itasca Park information indicates that crews continue to clear trails and affected areas. The park is open including all entrances, the visitor center, campground and park office. Campgrounds are fully operational. (Photos by Jeremy Neste).

Itasca State Park Jeremy Neste photo2

Most cabins and lodging opened yesterday at 4 p.m. Hiking is not recommended until trails are fully cleared. The public is asked to use caution while at the park. Learn more: Minnesota DNR news release, July 22 and Grand Forks Herald article.

Itasca State Park Jeremy Neste photo

Community outreach

While mobilized last week, MNICS liaison officers contacted communities to offer support and gather information. According to Minnesota Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEM), a total of 21 counties have been affected by summer storms. Counties sustaining significant damage in the recent storm include Aitkin, Beltrami and St. Louis. Weeks of clean up are ahead and several counties have declared states of emergency. As of 9:30 p.m. on Sunday about 5,600 people are without power in the Duluth area.

Thanks to staff from both the Superior and Chippewa National Forests, Minnesota DNR, HSEM, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and county emergency managers who provided updates. Kudos to the Minnesota DNR Wildland Fire Aviation team for capably coordinating air resources to assist search and rescue, initial attack and flight mapping last week.