Warning siren in Mankato means incoming rocks

It’s safe to say that at least in Mankato, Minn., quarries make lousy neighbors.

The Mankato Free Press reports a blast from a quarry yesterday sent bowling-ball-size rocks into the neighborhood, smashing siding on at least one home.

It came from the same quarry that allegedly caused a tremor in April big enough to register on the Richter scale, although the company insisted it was caused by an earthquake seven seconds after the blast.

Its blasting permit was suspended and a local committee was appointed to approve any subsequent blasting that took place, but after yesterday’s damage Jordan Sands’ permit was suspended again, the Mankato Free Press says.

Tim Slipy, who lives on Harper Street next door to the home that was struck Tuesday by one of the larger flying rocks, said the detonations are frequent enough — at least every couple of days — that he gave it little thought when the quarry’s warning horn sounded Tuesday morning.

“The horn blew. They do three blows before a blast and about a minute later it goes off,” Slipy said. “This one, they did three blasts and about five seconds later there was a blast.”

There was another difference with Tuesday’s detonation.

“I was like, ‘What’s that sound?'” Slipy said. “It was the rocks coming in. You could hear it flying through the trees. … Small ones, big ones. You’re talking 20, 30, maybe 50.”

Within minutes, quarry workers were in the neighborhood, picking up rocks and tossing them into the trees that separate the Germania Park neighborhood from the quarry. They may have just been trying to be neighborly and clean up the mess, but Slipy didn’t think so.

“The quarry guys came up and threw ’em in the woods,” he said. “… They were trying to cover it up is what it looked like to me.”

“It’s getting crazy,” one resident tells the paper.

“I mean, they don’t know what they’re doing,” said another. “They can’t be that hard up for rocks to endanger people’s lives.”

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