Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton County declares state of emergency

Heavy rain over the weekend causes flash flooding and mangled roads


Bob Knauff

Highway 23 is closed at the south fork of the Nemadji River in Carlton County, pictured at the top. There is no posted detour route, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The Carlton County Board of Commissioners declared a State of Emergency for portions of SE Carlton County mainly affecting county and township roads. The County Highway Transportation Department is assessing the situation at this time and will be providing more concrete figures soon. Heavy rain and flooding have hit that area during June 15-17.

County Commissioner Gary Peterson reflected, "We had the severe flooding of 2012 and 2016. I hope we do not have to go through another one of those experiences."

Meanwhile, the Carlton County Board met on June 12 at their regular meeting and established three policies impacting winter snow removal. Private driveway snowplowing will only be done by the county if a flat rate based on the length of a resident's driveway was paid by October 1. Driveways will only be plowed after county and township roads are clear. The flat rate for plowing a driveway 1/4 mile or less, for example, is $450 for the season. The County Transportation Department will guarantee plowing the driveway for as many times as is needed in the season.

A new mailbox policy was approved. The policy acknowledges that "snow removal activities are inherently abusive on mailboxes" even if installed properly. Mailboxes are to be installed with the face of the mailbox 8-12 inches from the edge of the gravel road or shoulder and from the face of the curb. A swing away design is being required for all new mailbox installations and guidance from the Transportation Department should be requested before constructing a new mailbox support structure.

Residents are reminded that it is unlawful to plow snow from driveways onto or across public roads and any person convicted of such a violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Vehicle crashes and damages from such snowplow piles on public roads are a liability of the property owner.

A change in the status of some county roads was approved upon the recommendation of the county engineer. Money available for upgrade work will be harder to allocate with these new statuses. County Road 19 with 4.9 miles running from County Road 6 in Automba Township to County Road 12 in Split Rock was changed from a Minor Collector to a Local Road. Twenty-five to 65 vehicles travel that road each day. CSAH 6 from CSAH 3 to CSAH 1 south of Wrenshall will now be a local road since it has only 20 vehicles a day.


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