Minnesota officials clean up mine breach damage

Minnesota officials are working to repair damage caused by a flood of muddy water from an abandoned mine pit in the state’s northern region.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that water and sediment from the Hector Mine iron ore pit breached an earthen berm in April, flowing downstream into the Embarrass River and connecting lakes. The flood took out utility lines near Biwabik and closed part of the Mesabi Trail.

Mine officials say heavy fall rains, beaver dams and blocked drainage culverts likely contributed to the dam failure.

Biwabik City Administrator Jeff Jacobson says engineers are creating a plan to replace the damaged lines and create a longer-term solution to prevent another washout.

Mining opponents say the breach is an example of the dangers of dam breaches and resulting spills.

Jessie Slater will have more on this story Monday on the CBS 3 Duluth News at 6 and 10. 

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