Friday, July 27, 2007

Tradgedy in St. Paul Storm Drain

I don't mean to over-hype the incident, but it hit very close to many in the local UE community and deserves at least some mention.

Two contractors working for the City of St. Paul were killed Thursday when they were swept away after the storm sewer they were working in flash-flooded (flooding being a normal occurrence) during the afternoon storm around 3:00 pm. A massive rescue attempt was launched after emergency services were notified four hours later. Teams entered drains and covered outfalls to try and recover the lost workers.

When it rains, no drains.
This should never have happened. There is somewhat of an international motto among explorers and the like, considered even more paramount than the "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints".
  • Never enter a drain if there is even the possibility of rain in the days forecast.
  • Examine side tunnels and shafts to determine possible emergency exits.
  • Know what is down stream of you, so if all else fails, you can try and work with the flow to get you to an outfall.
  • The most important thing is not to find a place to hold on to or hide in, but get the hell out.
The following like takes you to a page with a first hand account about when things in a drain get out of control, and this wasn't even during a flood. Attempting to follow these guys yourself is highly discouraged (if I say something like that on this site, it has to be something I wouldn't consider doing myself).

I can't recall ever hearing of the death of an explorer in a local drain. A private firm that claims to have had monitoring deceives and weather spotters in place should have bean able to avert this tragedy.

I think it's fair and accurate to say the hearts of the entire TC UE community are with the victims' friends & families, and they share their frustrations, some, more than they may ever understand.

No comments: