Minnesota Family Forced to Flee Home Before Flood Water Swallowed It

Living on the brink of a collapsing dam, a Minnesota family has had to flee their imperiled home.

As a result of severe floods caused by unusually high rainfall, the Rapidan Dam on the Blue Earth River is in a state of impending collapse.

This is the moment that the proprietors of The Dam Store, famous for its handmade pies, have been dreading.

The Barnes family has owned the business since 1972, but it has been operational since 1910. 

Jenny Barnes says it is everything to them: their life and livelihood. They work and live in the shadow of the dam. And it’s not a matter of “if” the waters will wash away her entire life; it’s “when.”

When Barnes and her family woke up at 2 in the morning on Monday to the sound of loud booms and t bright lights, she knew it was time to evacuate.

The Xcel Energy substation, situated at the now-demolished dam, was the site of the explosion that Barnes saw.

On Sunday, after very heavy rains, debris began to pile up. This put the dam, which is almost a century old, in an imminent collapse state, according to authorities.

As of Monday at 10:36 a.m., the river had eroded the land surrounding the dam on Mankato’s southern edge to the point that water was pouring over the concrete, threatening the city’s 45,140 residents with flooding.

At the same time as people in the region have reported losing electricity, the debris released by the floodwaters is continuing to surge downstream.

Officials have stated that debris being carried downriver includes pieces of county infrastructure.

The National Weather Service explained in their statement that the river section that passes through Mankato is expected to reach a crest level slightly below the major flood stage on Tuesday morning due to the breakdown.

While authorities wait to see if the Rapidan Dam entirely gives way, they have ordered the evacuation of low-lying portions of the Minnesota River Valley.

The dam, built by the Ambersen Hydraulic Construction Company in 1910, has been under scrutiny for quite some time, according to Governor Walz.

In response to this failure and to assist those who may have been neglected, officials are already carrying out the preliminary steps specified in the Rapidan Dam Emergency Action Plan.