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Nat’l Guard Working To Keep Water Out Of Henderson

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(credit: CBS) Jennifer Mayerle
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The rain may be over for now, but the damage from the recent heavy rains will be felt for quite some time.

A mudslide badly damaged an apartment and a historic brewery in Jordan.

“We came up the stairs, and I was just like, ‘Oh my God’,” co-owner Barbara Lee said.

Lee rents out apartments in the historic downtown brewery. Her tenant was gone when the heavy rain caused the mud to slide down the hill and into one of the apartments.

“We can’t really tell how far up the road this landslide came from, but it was obviously a large chunk of dirt that came flying down the hill. The stove was against the wall, and the whole side of the building just came through the wall,” Lee said.

All five apartments were evacuated. And for now the brewery, which was set to re-open after 80 years, is on hold. Lee is worried about another mudslide.

“We can fix the building,” she said. “But how do you make sure these trees don’t fall down again? That’s our big concern. How do you know the hill is stable?”

Lee said flood insurance won’t cover the damage from the mudslide. An account has been opened at Riverland Bank in Jordan if people wish to donate. It’s called the Jordan Brewery Restoration Fund.

The mud is also a concern in Henderson in Sibley County.

“The hill up above started caving in, coming down through the drain field,” said resident Bob Wagner.

Crews worked on Friday to unclog the area. And emergency management officials said three homes were damaged by a mudslide.

Officials in the area are concerned about the water, which continues to rise, and about the levees and floodgates, which are holding the water back.

“Everything down in the lower part of town is in the flood plain, so if those levees would go, it would pretty well cover all of downtown,” Wagner said.

Twenty Minnesota National Guardsmen responded to Henderson’s call for help. They will patrol the levees overnight and watch for soft spots as long as they are needed.

“It’s an important role for us,” Maj. Allan Hetteen said. “It’s something we’re trained to do and we’re capable of doing, and we’re here to help in any way that we can.”

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