Fallen trees line the Border Route Trail after a storm Oct. 10 in Cook County. Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service
US Forest Service

National Weather Service confirms tornado rolled through BWCA in early October

A tornado with wind speeds between 111-135 mph swept through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness earlier this month, knocking down trees and making a popular hiking trail impassable in sections.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth confirmed Oct. 29 that a tornado did roll through the BWCA near Clearwater Lake on Oct. 10. The tornado reached an EF2 rating on its intensity scale, meaning its wind speeds could have reached 135 mph. The tornado was estimated to be on the ground from 6:10 to 6:20 p.m., according to the NWS.

During the weather event, a tornado warning was in effect for various parts of Cook County. Many Cook County residents received a tornado warning on their phone Oct. 10.

In an online post Oct. 29, the National Weather Service says the storm caused significant damage along the Border Route Trail. There is damage on Clearwater Lake, Alder Lake and the Border Route Trail is impassable in places, according to the Forest Service.

In the audio below, WTIP’s CJ Heithoff spoke with a meteorologist from the NWS in Duluth to learn why it was important to determine if, in fact, a tornado impacted the BWCA during the October weather event.