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Bluff in front of Minneapolis hospital gives way in mudslide

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A mudslide on a Mississippi River bluff Thursday evening dropped 6 to 8 feet of muck and debris on a Minneapolis road and had emergency officials concerned about the stability of Fairview Riverside Hospital, FOX 9 reports.

FOX reports hospital engineers told the fire department the foundation beneath Fairview's oxygen tanks was undermined in the slide. Safety officials estimated 15 to 17 stories of mud and trees came crashing down. FOX says officials believe no cars were buried or swept away but were working to verify that.

Fairview Riverside is the teaching hospital for the University of Minnesota.

Tad Vezner of the Pioneer Press was among those who tweeted photos of the mudslide, which happened just before 8 p.m.

The mudslide on West River Parkway capped a day in which Minnesota saw an emergency declaration, flooded and closed roads, and tornadoes.

In some places all of the rainwater overwhelmed collection systems, causing backups of sewage into lakes, rivers, or basements.

The Emergency Operations Center that was activated by Gov. Dayton's declaration announced Thursday evening that there were sewer system backups:

Late this afternoon, officials at Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) reported to the Minnesota State Duty Officer that sewage spilled into Maxwell and Carmen Bays in Lake Minnetonka, as well as into the Mississippi River, originating at Wabasha Street and Humboldt Avenue in St. Paul. MCES also reported spills into Medicine Lake and Bassett Creek in Plymouth.

“We’re experiencing a rain event similar to June 1, but more widespread,” said Bryce Pickart, acting general manager of MCES. “In parts of the region, we are running wastewater pumping stations and regional sewers beyond their designed maximum operating capacities in an effort to keep up with the rainwater that is entering the sanitary sewer systems.”

The Pioneer Press visited a street in West St. Paul where there were plenty of basement backups. In some cases it was rain water, in others sewage.

Less than half way through 2014, the National Weather Service says rainfall in the Twin Cities is approaching the average for an entire year. Thursday was the rainiest day on record in the month of June for the metro area.

But forecasters expect Friday will bring a respite in the rain.

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