MUST WATCH: Duluth taxi driver shares video of steam leak

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UPDATE 11:40 a.m. — A steam line explosion prompted an emergency response in downtown Duluth Wednesday morning and brought traffic to a halt.

It happened just before 7 a.m. outside Fond du Luth Casino on East Superior Street.

Steam could be seen billowing out of the manhole covers, engulfing Superior Street and reducing visibility.

The steam could be seen for miles.

Taxi driver Joe Leddy was waiting for cab fares just a few feet away from the pipe explosion Wednesday morning.

“I turned over and there’s this huge cloud of white smoke is coming out of the vents, and bricks are pulling up off the ground. It kind of scared me,” said Leddy, “It literally sounded like the ground was getting ripped and you feel nothing but rumbling, it was quite intense,” he added.

Kris Johansen, a spokesperson for the Steam Plant, says crews ran a new line off of Greysolon Plaza on Tuesday in preparation of phase 2 of the Superior Street reconstruction project.

“We shut the steam line down last night [Tuesday]. Everything went good. We welded that we needed to, and started the system back up,” he said.

But Johansen says an expansion joint didn’t take to well to the freezing temperatures.

“The steamline must have been too cold, so when we started putting steam into it, basically an expansion joint that’s over the line that makes it stretch must have blew in front of the Fond du Luth,” said Johansen.

Crews remained on scene throughout Wednesday making repairs, to not just the pipe but the sidewalk.

“We had to turn the valves down this morning to get everything back under control. And we’ll get it repaired as soon as possible,” said Johansen.

We’re told the steam was shut off between 1st and 3rd Ave. East Wednesday morning, but people might still see some steam coming from the line.

However, the rest of the system is fully operational.

Officials expect this to be fixed and back to normal in the next day or two.


Update as of 7:45 a.m. — The Duluth Fire Department responded to a call of a steam leak at the Fond-du-Luth Casino at 6:53 a.m.

Crews arrived on scene at 7:01 a.m.

One engine remains on scene.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Meranda Hughes sent us this video of the scene early this morning.

Hughes says she was on her way to work when she took the footage.

——————————————————————————————————————

DULUTH, MN – There have been reports of a fire near the Fond-du-Luth Casino.

The event is causing traffic to be backed up along Superior St.

CBS 3 has a photographer en route to the scene.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

Ryan Haff

Ryan Haff

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