Faribault dam damaged by flooding, crews work to ease erosion

Crews in Faribault are working on Wednesday to ease erosion around a dam caused by flooding.

Officials say the work is underway at the dam next to the Faribault Mill at Slevin Park along the Cannon River.

"While the full extent of damage will not be entirely clear until the water fully recedes, what can be seen has called for the need to stabilize the area and to prevent additional erosion," the city writes. "The State has been notified, as is general practice in situations like this, and we’re encouraging everyone to avoid the area."

Aerial video from the FOX 9 chopper showed crews using an excavator and skid loader to move dirt along the north side of the dam but no sign of dangerous erosion from the flooding. Records show the dam was originally built in 1865 and used to power the Faribault Woolen Mill. The erosion appears to be happening mostly on the side opposite the historic mill.

Officials say there is no "immediate public risk" and that the situation isn't like the Rapidan Dam situation. In Rapidan, the much larger hydroelectric dam suffered a partial failure which caused massive erosion along west side of the dam – eating away at soil, sending a neighboring home into the Blue Earth River, and forcing crews to demolish a store.

The city is asking people to avoid the immediate area of the dam. Barricades are up around the area where crews are working.

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From: FOX 9