Fire chief: 'Perfect storm' of weather conditions led to Champlin basement collapse

March 14, 2019 10:26 PM

This wet weather caused problems in all corners of the Twin Cities on Thursday. 

Fire crews responded to a messy situation at a home in Champlin, and they believe weather played a role in a basement collapse. 


Anoka-Champlin Fire Chief Charlie Thompson says it appears the basement wall caved in, compromising the second floor structure. 

"The walls are really soaked around there, the block can't take all that moisture, it's just like pushing in on it," said Thompson.

Farther north in East Bethel, weather is making it hard to navigate the streets. Even one garage was partially underwater. The homeowner who lives there says he hasn't seen it this bad in nearly four decades.

Some sidewalks still snow, ice-covered despite proactive inspections by Minneapolis Public Works crews

In Minneapolis, areas around Minnehaha Creek are experiencing high water. The city says Public Works is continuing to clear catch basins in priority areas, monitoring creek flows, and breaking up ice jams to prevent flooding.

"Honestly, because of the conditions now, this is unusual, this is nothing we see every year," Thompson said.

Those on scene of the basement collapse in Champlin say the conditions make something like this hard to prevent. 

"It's the perfect storm right now," Thompson said. 

More on spring flooding

While this is an isolated incident, Chief Thompson believes this offers a good reminder to other homeowners. 

"Be diligent, watch your foundation, look downstairs, if you see weeping water, that could be a precursor to walls caving in," Thompson said. 

The homeowner is staying somewhere else because the utilities, gas, and water are shut off. But, fire officials don't believe there is significant damage.

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Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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