Heavy rain causes major flooding and dam failure risk in the Midwest (includes video story)

Severe flooding has resulted in the loss of at least two lives in the Midwest. Amidst this crisis, the Rapidan Dam in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, originally built in the early 1900s, is nearly collapsing. 

“That’s our business; that’s our livelihood,” said Jenny Barnes, a local resident who fears for her family’s home and business. “It’s everything to us.”

Authorities declared the dam to be in “imminent failure condition,” exacerbated by recent heavy rainfall that caused significant erosion around Barnes’ property. Ryan Thilges, the county’s engineer and public works director, lamented the destruction already wrought by the flooding. 

This incident is one of many across the region, where communities are grappling with the aftermath of widespread flooding that has disrupted and claimed lives. An elderly man in his mid-70s lost his life in Iowa while attempting to navigate floodwaters, while another elderly individual died in a flood-related accident in South Dakota.

Victoria Fonseca is a senior majoring in Digital Broadcasting with an area of concentration in Hospitality Management. After her studies, she wishes to pursue a career in the entertainment and hospitality field.