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Rain collapses basement wall at manor, no danger to residents

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Heavy rain in a short period of time has caused the collapse of  part of the south basement wall at Avera Oahe Manor in Gettysburg. The section affected sits under the portion of the building which provides support services to Avera Gettysburg Hospital and Avera Oahe Manor.
All residents are safe. The area of the collapse is not located near resident rooms. However, four residents with rooms closest to the area have been moved to other sections of the building as a precautionary measure. One was relocated within Avera Oahe Manor, and three were moved to available rooms in Avera Gettysburg Hospital. Avera Oahe Manor houses 47 residents, and their rooms are not located over any basement area but rather on concrete slabs to ensure safety.
The rooms above the impacted area house a beauty shop, storage and an office.
In a press release from Avera, it reported that the collapsed area is currently barricaded to prevent additional slippage. An Avera architect, independent engineers, as well as engineers from the state of South Dakota have assessed the damage. Repair work is scheduled to begin Wednesday. Should that work necessitate relocation of residents, those contingency plans are in place, and have been approved by the South Dakota Department of Health.
“The most important thing is that all our residents are currently safe, and our number one priority is to keep them that way,” said Mark Schmidt, Executive Director, Avera Gettysburg Hospital. “We have spoken to each resident’s family, and they are aware of our plans moving forward should it become necessary to move their family member elsewhere. We will always err on the side of caution to ensure our residents remain safe.”
For those familiar with the facility, the hallway between the manor and the clinic is closed while the work is being assessed and completed. The portion of the basement that was impacted was used for storage and is not near any of the building’s infrastructure.
Gettysburg was the target of a rain storm late Saturday night that doused the town with around three inches of rain overnight. Continued rain throughout the week have raised that to around the four inch level. While most of the needed rain is soaking in, there were other minor reports of basement damage around town and some signs of road wash across the county, but no other significant damage and no injuries reported.
–Molly McRoberts

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