Author Topic: Bridge collapse  (Read 6648 times)

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Offline Ripley

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Bridge collapse
« on: August 02, 2007, 05:05:54 PM »
Regular members at LzD might have noticed my location in Minnesota.  The bridge that collapsed was my frequent, regular commute above the river, as well as occasional visit boating below on the river.

I was fortunate to be in another location on a road north of this area at the time of collapse.  Due to the randomness of who could have been on that major road which allows passage to and from the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and surrounding towns, I have been making and recieving calls non-stop since the incident.  Whilest at this time I can report "my" people seem all to be accounted for...it has been and continues to be a surreal time here, as some I knew crossed over it within minutes of it collapsing.

The 2 closest medical facilities to the bridge are staffed with top notch people, many of whom I am acquainted. Minnesotans as a community are routinely helping "strangers" at the time of our usual "challenges" which routinely are assisting each other during common blizzards/cold or severe storms/tornadoes.  THIS particular surprise devastation has been shocking.

The few stories I have had time to watch on our broadcasts of the initial first responders are no surprise to me and of whom I am proud to share a community with.

On a personal note, as a diver, and being familiar with the dangers of search & recovery under the water, it was one certification I have avoided.  But having diver friends who are trained and have provided this type of assistance in Minnesota...my heart goes out to those who will be engaged in this in the next few days given the currents of the Mississippi river and the "sharpness" of the debris in low visibility, as well as those above the water in the wreckage. 

Hopefully caution with recovery will be balanced by quickness to bring some closure/healing to those directly effected with the injured & missing.  Whilest this hope of mine has been similarly shared by others in different parts of the country/world on a much larger scale...it is a dumbfounding experience to be thrust in a situation where you are scrambling to "locate" your loved ones and friends at times like these. 

As most of you are still wondering "how" this could have happened, which will obviously be reported at some future date, or how the "official" response time/organization was handled in our town...my comments now are just my particular experience being so close to it, and to "check in"  :rose:

Offline BigTuc

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2007, 05:13:34 PM »
glad you  are ok just seen the New  and came up to see if you ok  :thumbsup: you Friend Big Tuc :hysterical:

Offline Temmu

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007, 09:22:20 PM »
horrible.  i am very glad you and yours are safe.  ~shudder~.  my condolences to those families whose loved ones didn't fare so well.  :rose:  kudos to the first responders, helpers and medical staffs.   :flowers:

Online Corrine

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007, 09:38:58 PM »
Ripley, I was relieved to see your PM when I checked my email today to know you & yours were ok. :rose:   My family (daughter, her husband & their children and my sister-in-law and her husband) have been receiving calls all day too.  At least as of last evening, my daughter said they had been asked to turn off their cell phones.  I suspect that was to keep the airwaves as free as possible for emergency personnel.

For those who don't know, I've spent most of the past week in Minnesota.  My flight home was at 6:50 PM last night so my daughter and grandgirls left the airport shortly before 6 PM. My plane taxied to the runway at 7 PM. As it started, two men behind me were talking, one was telling the other about the bridge collapsing and pointed it out as we flew over the site. Although I knew 35W wasn't the route I would expect my family to take back home, on the way to the airport, my daughter mentioned she might take a different route home since traffic was so heavy. Not being familiar with the highway system there, you can be certain that the first thing I did when we were allowed to turn our cell phones on was to call them.  The flight was smooth but my stomach was in knots until I knew they were home safely.

We were on 35W on Sunday when we went from Minneapolis to St. Paul for a tour of the city. 


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Offline winchester73

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 01:54:16 AM »
Thank goodness you all are safe and sound.
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Offline Temmu

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 04:14:22 PM »
likewise, corrine, i am glad that you and yours are safe.   :rose:

Offline Niecarrah

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2007, 01:56:34 AM »
 :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose:
I'm at a loss...for words.  :rose:  I just am certainly glad to hear,  we have not lost a Landzdowner.  :rose:  I feel very sorry for those with a lost love one and wish them all the best for the future!  :rose: And I offer my deepest sympathy for all involved.   :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: :rose: 
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Offline Ripley

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2007, 08:42:09 PM »
Thanks for your comments people.  It has been a trying few days here in the Twin Cities area and as you all are probably already following on the TV/online, more difficult days for those involved in the bridge collapse.

Quote from: Corrine
At least as of last evening, my daughter said they had been asked to turn off their cell phones.  I suspect that was to keep the airwaves as free as possible for emergency personnel.

Yes...and the cell service became quite sporadic at times.  Some isp provided 12 hours of free wireless internet for the downtown area to help compensate.

What bizarre timing for you to be flying overhead of the bridge site, whilst your family was driving home...I would have snuck in the airline bathroom and called alot sooner  :lol:

My heart continues to go out to the folks with confirmed losses, those that are still waiting to have closure, the injuried with their recoveries, and the divers that are determined to recover those lost as quickly, but safely as possible.

Offline GR@PH;<'S

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2007, 09:04:05 PM »
ripley,
Glad you are safe  :hug:

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Online Corrine

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2007, 09:09:57 PM »
Reports today are that the divers are having a tough time, with several starts & stops and the current pretty strong today. 

<Hope you don't mind, Ripley, I quoted your initial post in the FL thread.  It provided a different perspective from that provided by another MN poster.>


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

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Offline Ripley

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2007, 09:46:51 PM »
Quote
Reports today are that the divers are having a tough time, with several starts & stops and the current pretty strong today.

Hummm...I have turned off any info on the bridge today with Bush arriving and landing on an infrastructure that this area cannot handle.

Here's what I know.

The divers are fatigued, but determined with tasks they are performing with the currents, changing eddys, and rotation of 30 mins in/30 mins surface interval, and back in.  There are additional, well trained divers to replace them. A tank of air at those shallow levels would last a lot longer than 30 mins. However, when a diver approaches a target area, there is increased anticipation, emotional response, and associated breathing changes. The exertion and therefore oxygen, necessary to attempt to steady yourself w/o snagging is enormous. When they swim to an open window in a vehicle, it is necessary to "feel" as the sediments do not allow "seeing". There is difficulty sleeping at night given the disappointments of reaching in and not finding a victim, as well of the dread in doing so.  It has not been luck, but skills and keen coordination that has avoided a diving accident to date.
They have switched their diving strategy to "tethering", and a 3 diver team, on this other side of the bridge.  It is more hazardous this way depending on the currents.  They have been attempting to change the currents with the Army Corps of Engineers maneuvering the dams...i.e lowering the water.  Each drop in water change...changes the eddys, the undercurrents/swirls they are dealing with around some debris structure or another.

I have faith in these divers and their coordinating officer.  They no what they are doing, but need to take it cautiously.

Quote from: Corrine
<Hope you don't mind, Ripley, I quoted your initial post in the FL thread.  It provided a different perspective from that provided by another MN poster.>

I don't mind at all.  All I am is alot of heart and soul, and my posts hopefully reflect that.  I am definitely alot more heart and soul when it comes to my community which has suffered this crisis.  I will swing over there and see what I can contribute.

Offline odidio

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2007, 03:27:34 AM »
Good to know you 'all' are ok, it's a terrible tragedy.

 

Offline roddy32

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 07:39:16 PM »
I am also glad you and your family are OK. The husband half of the friends I live with here in Kansas has a brother that uses that bridge numerous times a day and it took them 3 days to get in touch with him so they were relieved to finally do so.

I think there are many that don't think about what these responders, divers, etc. go through, not only in a recovery but the effects it has on them for the rest of their lives. I salute them all, they are true heros whether they will admit it or not.
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Offline Temmu

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 04:49:19 PM »
interesting write-up on the divers, ripley!  thx! :thumbsup:

Offline Ripley

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Re: Bridge collapse
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2007, 10:15:42 PM »
Thnx GR@PH;<'S, narov {waves}, roddy32, and Temmu.

@roddy32 3days???  bless their hearts!
Quote from: roddy32
I think there are many that don't think about what these responders, divers, etc. go through, not only in a recovery but the effects it has on them for the rest of their lives. I salute them all, they are true heros whether they will admit it or not.
I agree.  :thumbsup: 

Mini Update:  I can't tell what kind of TV/news coverage you all out there might be getting and still interested.    Even if you are getting news, it wouldn't be as detailed as what I can tell ya.  The divers have located all but 2 of the missing.

The "navy" divers you all heard about are from Little Creek, Va and blew in here to MN with 3 semi's full of the best equipment in the world.  These guys are the best cuz they have the most experience w/ the worst & most difficult dive recoveries >http://www.navydiver.org/MDSU2/default.html

They are working 18 hour shifts, along w/ the local divers, and FBI (forensic) divers.  Examples.  Navy goes in, cuts a piece to allow passage, retreats, then FBI goes in and "processes".  The fancy equipment is not helping in some areas, so they are sweeping the area "by hand".  Some spaces are but a foot or alittle more.  They have to remove their gear, switch to new gear and...squeeze...I did mention dangerous, didn't I?

Some of their comments:
Navy diver for 10 years, said "it's unlike anything he's seen. With a head lamp beaming, underwater visibility extends just past a diver's fingertips - "on a good day."

"You have to know what you're doing, and work out any other emotions you might have."

"The work has been slow and sometimes frustrating.   But, everyone's dedicated."

A storm is predicted for here tomorrow, which will likely cause a cease of operations if the water rises.  Maybe it will be a timely break for them...but my heart goes out to the remaining 2 families waiting.