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Minnesota’s family store is being demolished from its location near a dam damaged by the raging river

RAPIDAN, Minn. (AP) — County officials have purchased and demolished a Minnesota family store that was perched precariously next to a bluff near a flood-damaged dam, they said Friday.

Blue Earth County purchased the Rapidan Dam store and subsequently removed the structure to reduce downstream impacts if the reservoir collapses into the Blue Earth River, the county said in a statement.

For decades, the Hruska family had operated the store and lived in a nearby home, but recent heavy rains caused the river to rise dramatically upstream, cutting a channel between the Rapidan Dam and the river bank. The house collapsed into the river on Tuesday and the river continued to erode the land near the store.

“The Dam Store was an integral part of the community and remains embedded in the memories of many residents,” the statement said. “Our thoughts are with the Hruska family and all those close to them.”

No injuries were reported from the partial dam failure.

Officials say the dam, located a few miles southwest of Mankato in southern Minnesota, is still stable, as is a bridge a little further upstream. But officials are monitoring both structures with caution because the still-raging river has drastically changed the area.

The county did not disclose what it paid for the store. On Thursday, county employees and the Hruska family worked to remove a bar, seating areas, kitchen appliances and other items from shelves.

Flooding last week caused millions of dollars in damage to bridges, homes and roads in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Flooding has been blamed for at least three deaths in the Midwest.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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