Cold Weather Ads to Flood-Related Problems


Cold weather has brought on a renewed rush for help from flood victims in the Superior and Duluth area.Non-profit groups are getting pressed beyond their ability to help.

People are turning on their furnaces for the first time since the June 20th flood, and finding out they don’t work.Barb Certa-Werner at Superior Harbor House shelter says the needs are more than they can handle.

“Just this morning we had three cases that we allocated some funds for,” she says. “They lost all their winter clothing, their winter boots. They lost all that in the flood.They lost their water heater, their boiler.”

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Certa-Werner says they’ve had to turn people away from their homeless shelter.

Federal and state help continues to flow into the region, but Holly Sampson with the Duluth-Superior Community Foundation says that takes time, and people need help now.

“All of these steps take a little bit longer than we wish they would.But that’s how it works,”she says.

Sampson says other communities hit by floods and natural disasters have immediate needs, but the long term fix can take two years.That’s what they’re seeing too.

“This is a longer recovery then we originally envisioned.”

The Community Foundation got a big boost this week when the Margaret Cargill Foundation awarded them $500,000 to help non-profit groups with this flood recovery.

Certa-Werner says the timing is perfect.

“That is almost an understatement,” she says.”We’ve never been so busy.Our food pantry here at the church almost double what we have been serving.Our homeless shelter was hit by the flood and our homeless shelters have been at capacity.”

While Douglas County has tallied about $25 million in flood damage, northeastern Minnesota figures could exceed $200 million.