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DULUTH — The St. Louis County Board unanimously voted to declare a local state of emergency Tuesday morning in response to road washouts and drainage backups.

The declaration allows the county to apply for state and federal aid if damages meet the threshold of $420,000 and $840,000 respectively, Public Works Director Jim Foldesi told commissioners during an emergency meeting at the St. Louis County Government Services Center.

The state level has been reached, he said.

The National Weather Service predicts water levels will peak within two weeks at the Vermilion and Basswood rivers, and Crane Lake, Lake Kabetogama, Lake Vermilion and Basswood Lake, , according to a county news release.

County Board Chair Paul MacDonald said sandbagging has begun in these areas in preparation.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources warned travelers about high-water conditions and flooding in the North Shore, which led to road closures in St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties.