Wonderful Duluth: Photos of the 1972 Flood, Part Six










Geraldine Sasquatch

about 10 years ago

Is that a Saab making the wet crossing of 8th st E?   I wonder how long the brakes lasted in such a freewheelin' thing.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Yes, that appears to be a 1970 Saab 95 ... according to the Internet, not that I know what I'm talking about.


about 10 years ago

We heard a lot about how the Great Flood of 2012 was a 100-year event, but in reality it was a 40-year event. If you went back to 1932 or thereabouts, I wonder if you'd find another big flood.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

There was a similar comment on another of these posts about how what was supposedly a "100-year event" happened at least one other time in recent history.

Actually, the Historic Summer Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012 was considered a "500-year storm." I'm not sure exactly how the 2012 and 1972 storms stack up against each other in terms of the amount of rain and amount of damage, but I think the main distinction between the two is that the 1972 storm was more confined to the Duluth area, where the 2012 storm did major damage everywhere from Moose Lake on up the North Shore.

A few other major rain events in Duluth history: 

* Seven billion gallons of water fall on the Duluth area over July 21 and 22, 1909. Grass, trees, timbers, paving blocks, mud and debris are washed down the city's hillside during the torrential rainfall. Two children drown after being swept out of their mother's arms.

* Rain sweeps trucks and cars into the Lester River in 1946, where they are carried downstream into Lake Superior.

* A thunderstorm with hurricane-force winds and torrential rains hits Duluth on May 2, 1964. The wind is clocked at 88.61 miles per hour. The Oatka Boat Club building on Park Point explodes. 

.. and there were those little flood events thousands of years ago when the local glaciers receded.


about 10 years ago

Thanks for the info. 

I assume the "500-year" designation came from studying 500 years of newspaper archives and weather data, and not from any propensity of humans to overdramatize things.


about 10 years ago

I believe the "500-year" designation comes from the Army Corp of Engineer's propensity to catagorize things.

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