Following consecutive days of drenching rain, a massive mudslide on the West Bank campus of the University of Minnesota sent sections of the Fairview-University of Minnesota Medical Center tumbling into the Mississippi River on Thursday night.
The cliff collapsed around 7 p.m. CDT, pouring 6-8 feet of mud and tree debris onto the West River Parkway, according to a Fox 9 news article.
Preliminary reports showed that no drivers or hospital employees were injured and no cars on the road were swept away in the slide.
However, as a precaution, approximately 20 employees were evacuated from their offices.
Engineers are expected to arrive on site on Friday to assess the damage and safety of the structure and also determine reconstruction options.
Doused by heavy rainfall, the mudslide occurred on the same day that the city broke its 137-year-old record for the rainiest day in June. On June 19, 2014, Minneapolis received 4.13 inches of rain, breaking the previous record of 2.44 inches, set in 1877.
"Mudslides happen when the topsoil, or top layer of the earth, becomes saturated above a layer of rock or non-permeable soil," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "Gravity then causes the saturated soil to break loose and slide downhill."
Soaked by heavy rains, multiple highways, national parks and creeks have experienced significant flash flooding. As a result, numerous roadways and parks remain closed across the region, as no wake zones in the area's lakes remain in effect.
With the Twin Cities quickly approaching the June rainfall record at 11.67 inches, the city is currently at 10.76 inches, drier weather is in store for the city Friday and Saturday.
However, possible thunderstorms across the region this weekend may bring even more rain to the area, hindering cleanup and recovery efforts.
"The next chance for widespread rainfall in the city will come Sunday afternoon into Sunday night," AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister said.
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