5 Years Ago: Duluth Lakewalk Damaged By Powerful Lake Superior Waves [VIDEOS]
Five years ago today (October 27, 2017), the first snowstorm of the 2017-2018 season walloped the Northland. Mother Nature left her mark not only with snow, but also with significant damage to the Duluth Lakewalk.
Sustained strong winds, which gusted up to 63 mph at Sky Harbor Airport, drove powerful waves into the shoreline. The immense force of the waves caused a large mess and a lot of damage along the Lake Superior shoreline.
At the time of the storm, according to the City of Duluth, the Lakewalk was covered with varying levels of debris from 21st Avenue East all the way to Canal Park, where the damage in the videos in this post were captured.
Things like driftwood, pebbles, and even rocks larger than basketballs litter the Lakewalk and areas inland from the path, with some park benches being displaced by the water and debris that pushed ashore with the strong wind and waves.
Along with wind damage, this October 2017 storm would break a snowfall record as well. After getting 10.6 inches officially, this storm broke the record of most snowfall in a single day in October. The previous record was 10 inches in 1933. Some other areas around the region got up to a foot of snow from the storm.
Some additional damages included nearly $10,000 in lawn furniture and shoreline structures at Glensheen being damaged, Brighton Beach and the roadway through the park space saw some damage, and portions of the Canal Park shoreline/Lakewalk/seawall in Canal Park saw damage. You can see photos here.
This storm, followed by subsequent storms in the later part of 2017 and again in 2018 went on to lead to a major reconstruction project along much of the Duluth Lakewalk. Another storm, happening almost a year later (October 10, 2018), would eventually cause over $18 million in damage. Repairs to the shoreline and Lakewalk in Canal Park would eventually be completed in June of 2021.
You can see some of the damage in a video at the top of this post. Another one, offering a different perspective, can be found below.