Duluth flash flooding brings reminders

I’m currently in the very hospitable D&R Cafe in Bagley, Minnesota. I was on my way to the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference when I learned of the flash flooding events in Duluth. I decided to pull off Highway 2 and await further instructions.

Right now, I am hearing and reading reports of major street damage, overtaken sewer lines, and mud slides on I-35. Mayor Ness is asking for emergency travel only in the city. As a local official I can certainly respect those wishes. Specifically, as an East Grand Forks resident, I can especially appreciate attention to emergency action and infrastructure protection in a flooding event.

This is a grim reminder of the importance of our cities and their infrastructures. It’s too bad that we often only reflect during and immediately after times of crisis. Godspeed, Duluth. It looks like our first meeting may not have been meant to be.

I still hold hope. The realization is starting to set in as I approach the noon hour that perhaps it just was not meant to be. I hope the League is still able to have a great conference. I had been looking forward to it.