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Updated: 4 hours 55 min ago

The Hiker Extraordinaire

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 4:55pm

Here is Gail on the Stone Harbor deck.

Owning a store like Stone Harbor gives me the privilege of meeting new and interesting people on almost a daily basis. I see families and individuals who love the outdoors and are anxious to share their latest exploits with me and my staff. This past week was no exception.

Two years ago we were visited by Gail Lowe, who was in Grand Marais while hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. We had a great conversation at that time and off she went. Last week we got a phone call from Gail, who was coming through Grand Marais again, this time while Hiking the North Country Trail. My first reaction was “North Country Trail? Do you mean the Border Route Trail?” No, the North Country Trail, which is a new hike of 4,600 miles from North Dakota to New York.

Without going into great detail about the hike and why she is doing it, let me refer you to Gail’s Facebook page. Between that and her web site, you can see she is striving to be the first woman to make this hike of 4,000 miles in one hiking season. She is doing this in memory of her daughter Becca, who lost her battle to breast cancer just a little over a year ago.

She will be continuing her trek in a few days and we will be following her as she moves on down the trail. Meanwhile, I will be writing a little more about her in the coming days.

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Emergency Response to BWCAW Windstorm

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:46am

 

Superior National Forest sent us more information about the LaCroix blowdown. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that we can sometimes take it for granted. Thanks to everyone who has helped with the emergency response!

 

PRESS RELEASE Superior National Forest July 23, 2014 Contact: Kris Reichenbach 218-626-4393

 

Many Cooperate in Emergency Response to Windstorm

Winds from a thunderstorm early July 22, 2014 caused trees to blow down in areas across the Superior National Forest, with the most impacts in the far northwest part of the Forest in northern St. Louis County, Minnesota. Multiple agencies coordinated to rescue people from two groups injured from falling trees while camped in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). No further storm related injuries have been reported and crews continue to patrol and assess storm impacts today. More…

Starting in the early morning hours of July, 22, the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department, Crane Lake Volunteer Fire Department (CLVFD), local businesses, and the Superior National Forest worked together to conduct emergency response operations in parts of the LaCroix Ranger District that were impacted by the powerful thunderstorm.   Seven injuries were reported. One group used a satellite phone to call in an emergency to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office at three a.m. from Lady Boot Bay of Lac LaCroix. Mark Zupancich of Zup’s Resort, Anderson’s Resort, SLCSR, and the Crane Lake Volunteer Fire Department (CLVFD) removed two injured people by boat to an ambulance. At approximately noon, a report of five more BWCAW visitors camped at Loon Lake-some who were still trapped in their tents from fallen trees, was received by SLCSR. Morse /Fall Lake First Responders (MFLFR), along with CLVFD members, extracted the trapped individuals. First responders accompanied two people who were flown out by a Forest Service floatplane to Ely. Three more people with less serious injuries were accompanied by first responders and brought out by boat to Crane Lake. In a separate medical evacuation that was not storm-related, a Forest Service floatplane was also used and assisted by MFLFR and the Lake County Sheriff on Tuesday.

In response to the storm, an Interagency Incident Management Team was formed to ensure other parties are not in need of assistance and assess storm impacts. Two Forest Service wilderness crews were already in the area of the storm and were redirected to check the safety of BWCAW visitors. Two Forest Service float planes flew patrols looking for any other injured parties and to assess the damage. One additional Forest Service crew was inserted by float plane to Lac LaCroix. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was on standby for closer assessments but was not utilized. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources used aircraft to help with public safety and storm damage assessments on the Canadian side of the border.

The Forest Service completed an aerial reconnaissance Tuesday and identified an area of concentrated impact in the Lac LaCroix Area, including Lady Boot Bay, Ge-be-on-e-quet Lake, Lady Boot Bay, Little Loon Lake, East Loon Bay, the Northern portion of the Sioux Hustler Trail, Little Gabro Area, Little Isabella Entry Point Area, Snake River Entry Point Area. Trees are also reported down at scattered locations across the Forest.

Based on current information, the Forest Service does not plan to close any part of the Superior National Forest due to the storm, including the BWCAW. Visitors to the Superior National Forest and surrounding area are urged to watch for downed trees and take particular caution around trees that may have been damaged but are partially suspended or not already on the ground. This is a reminder that visitors need to be prepared for conditions that may result from natural occurrences in the Wilderness and can expect downed trees on some portages and campsites as a result of this storm. Crews will continue patrols to assess and remove blown down trees as appropriate.

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LaCroix Blowdown Update

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 9:15am

 

Becca Manlove, Superior National Forest Information Officer from Ely, sent us this update on the LaCroix Blowdown. We are grateful to all of the folks who helped those injured in the storm. It was an amazing team of people. Heck, even the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources got involved! Thank you to everyone who helps our visitors to the BWCAW!

 

LaCroix Blowdown Fact Sheet July 22, 2014

Introduction: Winds from a thunderstormat 2 a.m.on July 22, 2014 caused blowdown in pockets of the Superior National Forest. Injuries were reported from falling trees for two groups camped in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Injuries: Seven injuries were reported. One group used a satellite phone to call in an emergency to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office at three a.m. from Lady Boot Bay of Lac LaCroix. Mark Zupancich of Zup’s Resort, Anderson’s Resort, St. Louis County Search and Rescue (SLCSR), and Crane Lake First Responders removed the two injured people by boat to an ambulance. At approximately noon, a report of five more BWCAW visitors trapped in their tents from fallen trees was received by SLCSR. Two people were flown out by a Forest Service floatplane to Ely where a life flight was called. Three more people with less serious injuries were brought out by boat to Crane Lake by Morse Fall Lake First Responders, Zup’s Resort, and SLCSR. A Forest Service floatplane was also used in a medical evacuation that was not storm related assisted by Morse/Fall Lake First Responders and the Lake County Sheriff.

Personnel: An Interagency Incident Management Team was formed. Two Forest Service wilderness crews were already in the area. Two more were flown in. A Forest Service float plane flew an assessment looking for any other injured parties and to assess the damage. A MN State Helicopter was on standby for closer assessments. The Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources also sent aircraft in to help with public safety and storm damage assessments on the Canadian side of the border. SLCSR, Morse/Fall Lake FD and Responders, Crane Lake FD, hospitals in Ely, Cook, and Virginia, area ambulances, resort owners, St. Louis and Lake County Sheriffs, and other EMS teams were on alert in case more injuries were reported.

Visitor Impacts: Assessments are still coming in. Some portages may have a number of trees down, but no portages have been reported as impassable. No other injuries have been reported.

Size: The exact extent of the blowdown is being assessed at this time. Current assessments are showing less damage than initially thought. Tree damage is patchy and in concentrated areas of five acre microbursts.

******* Becca Brin Manlove 218-365-7569 Information Officer West Zone Superior National Forest Ely, MN 55731  
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LaCroix Blowdown

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 10:13pm

Webmaster note: Becca Manlove has sent us an update on the LaCroix Blowdown. Please see this post for the most up-to-date information: LaCroix Blowdown Udate. And if you want to know more about the emergency response, see this post: Emergency Response to BWCAW Windstorm.

You may have heard about the blowdown that happened early Tuesday morning in the BWCAW near Ely. Becca Manlove, Superior National Forest Information Officer from Ely, just sent us this information about it. We are grateful to all of the folks from Superior National Forest, local Search and Rescue personnel, First Responders and Volunteers who helped with this incident and who continue to aid visitors to the BWCAW.

 

LaCroix Blowdown Fact Sheet July 22, 2014

Introduction: Winds from a thunderstorm at 2 a.m.on July 22, 2014 caused blowdown in pockets of the Superior National Forest. Injuries were reported from falling trees for two groups camped in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Injuries: Two people used a satellite phone to call in an emergency to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office at three a.m. from Lady Boot Bay of Lac LaCroix. Mark Zupancich of Zup’s Resort, Anderson’s Resort, St. Louis County Search and Rescue, and Crane Lake First Responders removed the injured by boat to an ambulance. At approximately noon, a report of five more BWCAW visitors trapped in their tent from fallen trees was received by St. Louis County Search and Rescue. Two people were flown out by a Forest Service floatplane to Ely where a life flight was called. Three more people with less serious injuries were brought out by boat to Crane Lake. A Forest Service floatplane was also used in a medical evacuation that was not storm related.

Size: The exact extent of the blowdown is being assessed at this time. Current assessments are showing less damage than initially thought. Tree damage is patchy and in concentrated areas of five acre microbursts.

Personnel: An Interagency Incident Management Team was formed. Two Forest Service wilderness crews were already in the area. Two more were flown in. A Forest Service DeHaviland Beaver float plane flew an assessment looking for any other injured parties and to assess the damage. A MN State Helicopter was on standby for closer assessments. The Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources also sent aircraft in to help with public safety and storm damage assessments on the Canadian side of the border.

Visitor Impacts: Assessments are still coming in. Some portages may have a number of trees down, but no portages have been reported as impassable. No other injuries have been reported.

*******

Becca Brin Manlove Information Officer West Zone Superior National Forest Ely, MN 55731  
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