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UPDATE: Girl Scouts who encountered severe weather in BWCA return to canoe base

7/27 UPDATE: The girl scout group that encountered severe weather on Knife Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Friday night is safe and has returned to an Ely-area canoe base Saturday morning, according to the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.

Captain Rick Slaten said the group of nine scouts experienced a lightning strike Friday night.

While most of the girls were checked out on scene by first responders and cleared by 11 p.m. Friday, two girls were taken to a nearby hospital early Saturday morning and have since been released.

Nancy McMullen, director of communications for the Girl Scouts, said that as of around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the Girl Scouts were deciding whether they would continue their trip or travel back home to the Chicago area.

The group, from Chicago, was following a pre-planned route and they were never lost, according to McMullen,

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The St. Louis County Rescue Squad successfully reached a group of Girl Scouts that encountered severe weather on Knife Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Friday night, according to authorities.

Captain Rick Slaten with the St. Louis County Rescue Squad said though the group of nine scouts experienced a lightning strike that hit the ground, all involved were “awake, alert, and able to move without assistance” as of 11 p.m.

The group, from Chicago, was following a pre-planned route and they were never lost, according to Nancy McMullen, director of communications for the Girl Scouts.

“The lead guide called in the lightning strike per protocol, informed authorities of their exact location per the planned route, and said they believed that lightning ‘struck the ground and they might have experienced ground current,'” McMullen said.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad said they would try to evacuate the girls using canoes.

Lake County Rescue, Sheriff’s Deputies, the Minnesota DNR, Minnesota HSEM, Northern Tier, 911 Dispatchers, the Minnesota State Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, and many others were involved in the rescue.

Slaten said they the rescue squad opened the Pike Lake Emergency Operations Center to monitor the effort.

 

Natalie Grant

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