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Rapidan Dam in Minnesota is on the brink of flood collapse, residents are on high alert

"It is in a condition of imminent failure (...) it was necessary to issue this notice to advise downstream residents and appropriate regulatory agencies," Blue Earth County reported.

Rapidan Dam(Youtube-KSTP 5 Eyewitness News)

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Local authorities issued an urgent alert on the condition of Rapidan Dam, located in southern Minnesota. Due to debris accumulation and recent heavy rains, the structure is in a "state of imminent failure."

Authorities in Blue Earth Countycommunicated the risk via a Facebook post Monday in warning to potentially affected residents.

"The dam is in imminent failure condition. We do not know if it will fail completely or if it will remain in place. However, we determined it was necessary to issue this notice to advise downstream residents and relevant regulatory agencies," the county stated assuring that emergency measures are already being implemented, including notifying potentially affected residents, affected regulatory agencies and other local agencies.

Debris accumulation and monitoring

The first notice ofdebris accumulationat the dam arrived last Sunday. Since then, Blue Earth County Public Works workers, along with the emergency management agency and the sheriff's office, have been monitoring the situation closely. According to emergency management, the Blue Earth River eroded the west side of the dam, carrying dangerous debris with it and causing power outages in the area.

The main structure of the dam is "still intact" and no "mass evacuation" is planned at this time. However, constant vigilance is being maintained to ensure the safety of residents and infrastructure.

History and capacity of the dam

Rapidan Dam, built between 1908 and 1910, is owned by Blue Earth County and has the capacity to generate six million watts of hydroelectric power. The structure is located about 70 miles southwest of Minneapolis, serving as both a source of power and a crucial barrier to the management of the waters of the Blue Earth River.