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State of emergency declared in Duluth as floods sweep through city, drowning zoo animals

A state of emergency has been declared in Duluth, after heavy overnight rain inundated the city in the early morning hours Wednesday.

Heavy overnight rain inundated Duluth in the early morning hours Wednesday, causing severe flooding in many parts of the city.

Mayor Don Ness declared a state of emergency, noting “significant damage, debris and popped manholes,” said the Duluth News Tribune.

The Duluth Zoo reported some barnyard animals were drowned and that two seals escaped the zoo, but were recovered.

Parts of I-35 were closed due to flooding. Water even covered roads and threatened buildings at the Miller Hill Mall.

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Said Ness:

“We have a coordinated response with city, county, State Patrol, Coast Guard, Red Cross, and the feds ready to help; I’ve been very impressed with the coordinated effort to this point. Thank you to the leaders from across the state offering their help and support. There is another band of rain on our way, so it is likely to get worse before it gets better.”

City Hall was closed because of the flooding. A notice from the city said:

 Due to heavy rains, some roads in Duluth are flooded and  impassable. City Hall is closed for business today. Non-essential City employees should not report to work today. Essential employees and emergency personnel should report to work as scheduled.

At the zoo, the polar bear left its exhibit and had to be tranquilized. The zoo’s donkey, some goats and sheep were drowned. The raven and vulture cages also were flooded.