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June 28th, 2008 St. Paul Xcel Smoke Stack Demolition | The Suck Zone

June 28th, 2008 St. Paul Xcel Smoke Stack Demolition

Posted on June 28th, 2008 by Chris White.
Categories: Photography.

Xcel energy is upgrading with a significantly lower emission power plant. A 550 foot high smoke stack weighing (unconfirmed 5,770 tons) built 36 years ago part of St. Paul’s cityscape was brought down today. I was able to check a few locations to shoot this photographically due to the work of Bill Moss, taking into consideration the excursion zone which police would close off to the public and block traffic. I choose Cliff road as the closest spot that would be open to public, but, I guess, some were just below me I saw on the train tracks. Cliff road runs parallel overlooking Shepard road just below which was closed off for good reason. I had a few reservations if it was wide being so close to such a massive structure being brought down with high explosives, it passed 2 seconds latter. Hundreds lined the streets, the Smith Avenue High bridge to Harriet Island and other locations.

I watched as a family choose to watch from just North of Shepard below but, were eventually reasoned with by St. Paul Police.


Crowds lining the high bridge. Water canons were used to control the amount of dust released.


I believe they were trying to land it on the sand berms built with the concrete retaining wall built next to it to control dust and debris but, I speculate they might have been off 15 degrees or so. Here is the initial high explosive charge. I felt a little bit of the shock-wave but, it was nothing compared to the shock-wave of the 10 million+ pound structure hitting solid earth (versus the sand berms) creating a mini earthquake at the same time.


Crews immediately hit the scene for cleanup and check for damage and other hazzards.


Fill these baggies and throw them in the dumpster


HD Video on Vimeo HERE, watch it full screen. If it should shutter or sputter try either Flickr, or YouTube.

1 comment.

Bill D
Comment on June 30th, 2008.

Fantastic job Chris. The high def video is beautiful.

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