Officials Say Buildings on Edge of Mpls. Mudslide are Sound

Updated: 06/19/2015 11:22 AM By: Jennie Olson

The mudslide on West River Parkway in Minneapolis.
The mudslide on West River Parkway in Minneapolis.
Photo: Photo: KSTP-TV/Joe Mazan

Highway 13 between Wachtler Ave. and Sylvandale Rd. is closed indefinitely due to mudslides.
Highway 13 between Wachtler Ave. and Sylvandale Rd. is closed indefinitely due to mudslides.
Photo: Photo: KSTP-TV/Todd Raaen

Officials say the Minneapolis hospital buildings at the edge of a Mississippi River bluff mudslide are structurally sound.          

University of Minnesota Medical Center spokeswoman Jennifer Amundson says engineers have inspected the two hospital buildings and determined they are not structurally compromised.          

Minneapolis Assistant Fire Chief Charles Brynteson says the buildings are set on bedrock and are safe. No one was hurt Thursday night when a 100-yard swath of bluff soil, including trees and brush, slid to a parkway below, leaving 6 to 8 feet of mud on the road.       

The mudslide happened near the intersection of Fourth Street and West River Parkway behind the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital complex.    

Brynteson says two motorists on the parkway accelerated to safety as mud and debris were falling; he says they very easily could have been trapped.

Crews say West River Parkway will be closed from Fourth Street to Franklin Avenue for the next several days to allow the site to settle and dry out before beginning clearing work. Fire officials are urging people to stay clear of the area until it is open again.

Hospital officials said they will be emptying some liquid oxygen tanks Friday so they can relocate a piece of equipment, and there may be a cloud that's visible to the public. They say it could also be noisy and that they don't want people to be alarmed because it's near the mudslide area.

In Mendota Heights, Highway 13 between Wachtler Avenue and Sylvandale Road is closed indefinitely due to mudslides covering the roadway. This is the fourth time the mudslide has happened on this stretch of road.

The latest storm dropped about an inch of rain across the Twin Cities metro, which comes on top of the 4-6 inches that fell earlier Thursday morning. KSTP Chief Meteorologist Dave Dahl said the biggest threat will be the flooding of main streams and rivers.

Fortunately, Friday looks a bit drier with a partly cloudy sky and temperatures in the upper 80s.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.