Rising waters cause damage at Rapidan Dam

Rising waters cause damage at Rapidan Dam

RAPIDAN, Minn. (KEYC) — The Rapidan Dam has more damage, and this time it’s ice-related.

On Jan. 15, officials noticed water below the dam beginning to rise because of numerous ice jams near the structure.

The rising water resulted in the powerhouse being flooded with about 10 feet of water.

“That’s all the controls for the electrical, the two large electrical generation turbines, all the controls, all the equipment that meters the electricity and then transforms it and then sends it into the distribution lines,” explained Blue Earth County Engineer Ryan Thilges.

This is in addition to damage officials noticed in summer 2019 to the downstream apron. The apron isn’t a pressing repair right now, but the powerhouse will need to be repaired rather quickly to resume normal controls of the dam.

“Then they’ll have to go through all the electrical generation components and see what the extent of the damages are, but we assuming it’s going to be significant,” added Thilges.

While Blue Earth County is in charge of the dam structure itself, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy is in charge of operations. The company has reviewed the structure of the dam and determined the flooding has not resulted in structural damage.

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