We have a cabin only ten miles inland from Lake Superior in northern Minnesota and we just returned after a few days of R&R. Man what a mess we drove into.
We knew going up was taking us into as much heat as we have in the southern part of the state, but the whole north shore was blasted a few weeks ago by a sudden 10" plus rainfall along with wide-spread flooding. Our own land didn't get any damage but we did see a lot of roads still closed. One not far from our place had a section 50 feet wide and maybe 40 feet deep missing where a creek that normally could be stepped over and kept dry feet flooded. Estimates by the county suggest that the water there was maybe 50 to 60 feet above the norm and probably was the result of trees and slashing plugging a culvert. The culvert is 12 feet in diameter and was seen about 300 yards downstream of the road and bent up like nothing I have seen before. This but one of several similar sights.
What really was affected was the lake. The water level was driven up a long ways, maybe three feet. To put this in perspective, it has been said that if one inch [1"] of water was taken off the surface of the lake that water could completely cover the entire state of New York. But the rise in water is insignificant when one considers the dirt that has come into the otherwise pristine water. On any given day out on the breakwater in Two Harbors I could enjoy looking down into the lake with visibility approaching 40 feet. From last Tuesday until Sunday morning the most clarity I found was down to around 7-8 feet. The wind turned to the north-east on Sunday early and by noon the dirty water that had been held at bay on the main lake by southerly winds was getting shoved back in-shore. My wonderful 7 feet of clarity shrunk to around three feet. Trees were seen being blown around the lake....I have never seen that. Gravel bars standing two feet out of the water at river mouths were common at just about any point along the shore where water enters the lake and are meaningless until one realizes that where they are today was twenty feet deep before the deluge. I've never see those either, waves will take care of them over time though.
The trollers were having a tough time but fish were still being taken by then if they could stay on track along the mudlines off-shore. My fishing off the breakwater was sour and in five days of casting I saw one coho chase my lure and I am assuming that the one that did hit me and broke the line was a lake trout, that based on how and where the fish hit and how it acted after hooking up.
We'll be going back in August and again in September. I just hope this mud settles out of the water. The DNR people I spoke with last Thursady thought that the mud in the water could cause problems for the next six months and that water clarity could take a year to re-gain.
Daytime highs were in the 90"s the whole trip so our fans got a workout. Bugs were terrible so we couldn't spend a lot of time outside. The heat had the wildlife driven to deep woods so we didn't have the usual antics of the local bears and moose to entertain use. The highlights for me occurred when the tractor started and ran without issue, for a change, and the mowing of the foot tall grass got done. We had a great show of northern lights one night....those I never take for granted. It was a tough trip but if a person looks hard enough there is always something positive to latch onto so it, like the whole area, isn't a total wash.