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At 6:05pm, the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi suffered catastrophic failure and fell 64 feet carrying at least 50 vehicles into the river and the adjacent shores. As of this writing seven people are known to have perished and the toll is expected to rise. (More) (Video)
At the time my son Andrew and I were at the Saturn Store in White Bear Lake as I was helping him pick up his new car. The sales process takes about an hour and while Andrew was waiting for the paperwork to be processed, I went outside for a few moments, this was about 6pm. When I came back into the store, the show floor was virtually vacant. Our family’s sales consultant Steve told me that the I35W Bridge over the Mississippi had fallen and that everyone was watching the news in the break room, where I found my son.
On the twelve-mile drive home along I35E (I35 splits into I35 East & I35 West north of the Twin Cities, the east branch through St. Paul, and the west, Minneapolis), traffic was already at rush-hour levels, and I realized that earlier in the day I had crossed the river on that very span and shuddered. I couldn’t help but think of those who were on the bridge and the horror they must have felt as the bridge began to collapse.
Arriving home, I turned on the television for the latest news and while I watched, my thoughts turned, I now am ashamed to say, how this will affect my job. I deliver auto body and other parts for Saturn of St. Paul, and the loss of this major bridge will put stress on all the remaining highways in the cities, creating all sorts of problems for me.
As I continued watching the story unfold, I noted the remarkable response of ordinary people who quickly began helping the victims of the collapse, some of them victims themselves, who after riding the bridge down, got out of the cars and immediately began to help the injured! So many people came to help that officials had to send them away. This is a remarkable example of how we will overcome our differences and unite in a disaster!
The search & recovery efforts will continue after dawn this morning, and soon the investigation into the cause of this catastrophe will get into high gear, and I will never approach a bridge with the same nonchalance as in the past.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.