WATCH: See Lakewalk Damage From Powerful Lake Superior Waves
As the first snowstorm of the 2017-2018 season moves through the region, 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.
According to the City of Duluth, the Lakewalk is covered with varying levels of debris from 21st Avenue East all the way to Canal Park, where the damage in the video above was 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. City officials are asking the public to stay clear of the Lakewalk until debris can be cleared.
With several large portions of decking and a part of the cement foundation for the boardwalk in Canal Park pushed feet away from their original location, it is unclear when crews will be able to get this portion of the path reopened.
Along with the debris and damage, water from Lake Superior has swamped the horse path along Lake Superior, and has led to standing water in some parking areas and around businesses along the shoreline. City officials have reported that there is also standing water on Canal Park Drive and Harbor Drive, as well as the parking between Grandma's and Lake Superior. Crews have put up barricades in areas that are not passable, and it is recommended that the public stay out of those areas for their own safety.
UPDATE: As of 5:00 pm this evening, the parking lot near Crabby Ol' Bills remains closed due to flooding, and the corner of Harbor Drive next to the Great Lakes Aquarium is barricaded due to the roadway being flooded earlier today. Many streets in the Canal Park area have debris on them left behind by water washed ashore from the powerful waves. Learn more here. More footage of the aftermath from the wind and waves below.