Mudslide, collapse at Fairview Riverside Hospital in Minneapolis - KMSP-TV

Mudslide, hill collapse near Fairview Riverside Hospital in Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

A day of heavy rains left its mark on Minneapolis in the form of a massive mudslide behind the Fairview-University of Minnesota Medical Center at Riverside. Thursday evening's hill collapse dumped 6 to 8 feet of mud and tree debris on West River Parkway.

First reports of the hill collapse began to come in just after 7 p.m. from drivers who narrowly missed the slide. A 100-yard swath of the hill came crashing down, blocking the street about 100 feet below. It could be days before the dirt and debris is cleared, but officials do not believe any cars were swept away.

HOSPITAL DECLARED SAFE

Thursday night, engineers examined the Fairview Riverside buildings and office space closest to the mudslide and deemed them structurally sound. A hospital spokesperson said patient care was not impacted and no patients were evacuated. About 20 employees in a facilities area were evacuated for a few hours while the engineering assessment was done.

OXYGEN TANK STATUS

The oxygen tanks at the hospital were an immediate concern for emergency officials after the ground beneath them was partially washed away, but Minneapolis firefighters later confirmed the tanks are safely anchored on bedrock and shale.

The liquid oxygen tanks were vented and emptied on Friday so the hospital could relocate a piece of equipment. The noisy venting process created a visible cloud, pictured below. The hospital has temporary, primary sources of oxygen and the tank venting did not impact patient care.


photo submitted to Fox 9 by Reade Selcke

NEXT STEPS

Crews are letting the mudslide site settle and dry out this weekend before beginning cleanup efforts. Structural engineers and Minneapolis Park Board Officials are involved in the site evaluation, cleanup and reconstruction.

ROAD CLOSED

West River Parkway will remain closed from 4th Street South to Franklin Avenue for an undetermined amount of time. The closure also affects walking and biking trails through that stretch. West River Parkway between 4th Street South and 13th Avenue South is reopening Friday afternoon, which will allow access to Bohemian Flats.

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