By Brady Slater, Duluth News Tribune
Video by Michelle Truax

Inside the Hampton Inn Duluth in Canal Park, Friday morning breakfast guests ate peacefully as waves crashed furiously outside, covering the Lakewalk for as far as the eye could see in floodwater and spraying droplets against the hotel windows.

“I knew Lake Superior could get ugly, but not like this,” said Minneapolis resident Brad McConkie, visiting Duluth with his wife, Eileen, for their anniversary.

“If we even make it to Lutsen,” he added.

The city of Duluth said the Lakewalk was covered with debris from Canal Park to 21st Avenue East, and asked the public to stay away until the trail is cleared. In Canal Park, large sections of the wooden boardwalk had been dislodged and tossed about by the waves.

There also was standing water on streets and some parking lots in Canal Park, including the city parking lot closest to the ship canal.

Minnesota Power and Lake Country Power reported a combined total of about 5,500 customers without power, including large outages in the Chester Park neighborhood of Duluth, Superior, Ely and Lake Vermilion area.

Across the Aerial Lift Bridge, snow blew in the face of one homeowner as he fought to shovel the storm sewer clear of debris in front of his house — while the backyard continued to give away large chunks of itself to the storm.

“My fence is totally gone,” 70-year-old Gale Kerns said. “There used to be a 6-foot dune here. There used to be a garden here. There used to be a yard. It’s the worst storm since the Socrates in the fall of 1985.”

The lake freighter Socrates grounded on Park Point in that memorable storm.

Click here for more storm coverage.

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