Duluth, Minnesota saw huge flash floods, causing both people and animals to flee to higher ground. But domestic animals were not the only ones to flee, as a polar bear from the zoo saw an opportunity and escaped last night.
Berlin, the polar bear, was lucky though, because AOL reports that several sheep, goats, and a donkey at the zoo were killed by the flooding, according to Susan Wolniakowski, director of guest services.
Police Spokesman Jim Hansen stated that the chase for Berlin was “pretty nerve-racking,” despite her being a huge white object. Berlin was recaptured and is currently in quarantine at the zoo.
The Washington Post reports that Duluth Mayor Don Ness stated he will be declaring a state of emergency after up to 9 inches of rain caused extensive damage to the port city. The order will help to start the process of getting federal aid. Ness stated:
“There are certainly reports of streets being washed out, but the more significant problems are as the water comes over the ridge and starts rushing down the hill, overwhelming our storm systems, overwhelming our culvert system and creating that forward momentum of rushing water. That’s where the most significant problems are being felt.”
iReporter Keira Keigley told CNN that, “water has destroyed city streets, manhole covers are blown, (and) storm water is overflowing into the streets.”
The National Weather Service continued their warning to evacuate or steer clear of the areas around Duluth, warning:
“We continue to emphasize that this is an extremely dangerous and life threatening situation for all areas in Duluth and along the north shore of Lake Superior.”
Ness also stated Wednesday, according to AOL, that more rain is expected throughout the day, making it harder to assess the full extent of the damage. The major stated:
“We’re concerned about washouts and sinkholes and they’ll likely show themselves in the coming days. … The water is rushing so hard that we’re concerned about the integrity of the roadbeds being washed out.”
Many major highways leading to the city were closed from flooding, and authorities are encouraging residents to stay at home, because of the large amount of standing water and rushing floods.