Owatonna People's Press staff writer Al Strain reports in Sinkholes present throughout southeastern Minnesota — Steele County included:
Though there haven't been any sinkholes that have swallowed homes in southeast Minnesota recently, that doesn't mean they aren't present across the landscape.
Jeff Green, a hydrogeologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said there are currently about 10,000 sinkholes that have been inventoried in this section of the state, but it's difficult to get an exact figure.
. . . Sinkholes are nothing new for residents of Steele County. In March 2004, a portion of County Road 45 — near the interchange with Highway 14 and what is now Federated Insurance Companies' A.T. Annexstad Building — collapsed, leaving a gap in the road that was 15 feet deep and 20 feet wide. The collapse happened just moments after a sports utility vehicle and a gravel truck had driven over that exact spot in the road . . .
Still Green doesn't fret much:
Green said while the types of sinkholes that occur in Minnesota are similar to the ones that happen in Florida, they aren't of the same magnitude.
"We have big sinkholes here, and we have sinkholes that pop up every year -- we have a very dynamic landscape," Green said. "It's the same process but it's a different magnitude.
"Put it this way, I don't lay in bed at night worrying that a sinkhole is going to get me."
The report does make Bluestem wonder why we haven't heard much of Emo Senator Mike Parry of late. He does seem to have vanished from the face of the earth.
Photo: In March of 2004, a sinkhole 15 feet deep and 20 feet wide opened up on County Road 45 south of Owatonna. (Al Strain/People's Press).
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