Duluth

City of Duluth heavy equipment operator Doug Quade uses an all-wheel drive Caterpillar road grader Tuesday to clear snow off 56th Avenue East near two parked cars in the Lakeside neighborhood of Duluth. Quade has been starting his days at 2 a.m. since the heavy snowfall hit Duluth. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

DULUTH -- With the closings Wednesday of two elementary schools due to continued snow-clearing issues, Mayor Emily Larson took to social media to take responsibility, saying on Facebook, "To have pockets of our city still untouched this morning is embarrassing."

Lowell and Myers-Wilkins elementary schools will not be in session today (Wednesday, Dec. 4) Larson said. Duluth Public Schools had expected to reopen in full on Wednesday. Neither of the two elementary schools has been in session this week in the wake of the blizzard that deposited 21.7 inches of snow onto Duluth last weekend.

"We can do better," Larson said in a prelude to comments she said she will make at a news conference later Wednesday morning. "We have not done our part to fulfill expectations in these areas. I apologize to all of you for this."

The mayor's comments came on the heels of the city of Duluth declaring 90% of city streets plowed as of late Tuesday.

"The closing today of Lowell and Myers-Wilkins because of continued snow-clearing issues goes against everything that I strive for as a leader — public education access in our schools and neighborhoods of low incomes," Larson said. "This neighborhood and these schools need us to show up in the biggest way, not as an afterthought."

Myers-Wilkins is located in the Central Hillside neighborhood, one of the neighborhoods targeted in social media complaints for enduring a lack of city attention from city plows. Lowell is located in the Kenwood neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the mayor defended the city's plowing to a resident in an email.

"As a city, we have let you down in our response to this storm," Larson wrote on Facebook early Wednesday. "As mayor, I take full responsibility."

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