Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

DELUGE IN COOK

Flash flooding caused by five-plus inches of rain

Melissa Roach
Posted 6/20/18

COOK—A narrow band of intense rainfall and damaging winds took aim at Cook on Saturday, causing flash flooding throughout parts of the city. Reports indicated as much as four inches of rain within …

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DELUGE IN COOK

Flash flooding caused by five-plus inches of rain

Posted

COOK—A narrow band of intense rainfall and damaging winds took aim at Cook on Saturday, causing flash flooding throughout parts of the city. Reports indicated as much as four inches of rain within a half hour, with some Cook residents reporting storm totals between five and seven inches. Some residents temporarily lost power as trees fell on powerlines.

The deluge of rain left River Street inundated with almost a foot of water. As the downpour continued, the wind picked up creating white caps on the flood waters in the street, washing up to the buildings like waves to the shore. Carol Carlson, owner of the Comet Theater, was glad for the quick help of customers who were shopping in the combined theater/variety store at the time. While she arranged items in front of the building, customers hurried to move items up from the low part of the theater as water started coming in along the wall in the back. “It was a shock to all of us,” she said.

The heavy rains also flooded the Northwoods True Value Hardware parking lot, causing plastic culverts and boards to float onto Hwy. 53. Volunteers assisted to get the items off the road. Next door at Waschke’s Auto, a few cars succumbed to the fast rising water with hoods that were underwater.

Additionally, some residents were also dealing with a city sewer back-up. Cook resident Theresa Drift watched as her basement drain and toilet back-flowed, filling her basement with several inches of contaminated water. Drift was relieved she was able to secure professional cleaners the next morning, noting that the cleaning service had received many emergency calls in the area after the storm.

City maintenance supervisor Don Flack said the city’s infrastructure drainage system handled the rain well under the circumstances, calling the event “out-of-the-ordinary.”

“This was by no means a normal rainfall. Had we not done the work on the storm drain a few years ago, this would have been worse.” Much of the flood water had receded from the streets and Hwy. 53 by Saturday afternoon. Flack also said it was good that the Little Fork River was low at the time.

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