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Battered but not beaten: Lutsen bridges damaged by North Shore floodwaters

Battered but not beaten: Lutsen bridges damaged by North Shore flood waters
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 8:06 PM CDT
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LUTSEN, MN -- If you’ve traveled up the North Shore, there’s a good chance you’ve taken a stroll or a picture on the Lutsen bridges.

Friday night the overflowing Poplar River caused severe damage to these iconic structures.

For Mark Savoie, Lutsen has always been a place to relax.

“I just love being on the North Shore so much,” said Savoie.

He and his family have been vacationing in the area for years and almost every visit requires a stop at the Lutsen bridges.

“Lutsen and bridges have always been kind of a family tradition for us. We’ve been coming to the North Shore for about 30 years. We’ve taken Christmas card photos on the lower bridge,” said Savoie.

He loved the area so much, that he moved to nearby Tofte a little over a year ago.

But at the end of last week, a combination of stormy weather and late snowmelt damaged those beloved landmarks.

According to officials with Lutsen, it’s not the rushing waters that have damaged the bridges, but rather the debris of pine and spruce trees that got swept away by the current.

When the floodwaters receded a bit, Savoie went to take a look at the bridges.

“Yes, we went down first thing Saturday morning to kind of see what was going on. Then we went back on Sunday to see what kind of progress had been made by the river,” said Savoie.

And he wasn’t alone.

Doug Hawkins and his wife Carolyn are traveling across the North Shore taking in the seasonal waterfalls.

“There’s an amazing amount of water coming over the falls everywhere,” Doug Hawkins said.

They too came to see the iconic sites on the shore.

“We’re seeing all the beautiful spots on Lake Superior, waterfalls, lighthouses, beaches, and cute little towns,” Hawkins said.

And though they’re damaged at the moment, they’re seeing the red bridges of Lutsen too.

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