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.

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

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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.

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

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Fill these baggies and throw them in the dumpster

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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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