Resources available for North Side residents affected by tornado

Following yesterday’s tornado in north Minneapolis, additional resources are available for affected families, and a fund has been set up for the public to help in the disaster recovery. Minneapolis has determined that no curfew will be needed tonight, and the City and Park Board have also planned a debris pickup for properties in North Minneapolis beginning Wednesday.

Updates for today include:

Officials visit the site: This morning, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, joined by Council President Barbara Johnson and Council Members Hofstede and Samuels, led a tour of the impacted neighborhoods with Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, and other local and state officials.

No curfew: Minneapolis Police have determined that a curfew is not needed for this evening.

Crews in the neighborhoods: Crews are working as quickly as possible to get the affected neighborhoods open so residents can return. Emergency managers have divided the area into three zones. Within these zones, staff are going block-by-block, door-to-door, assessing damage, evaluating the safety of structures, and clearing debris to reopen streets. One of the biggest safety concerns is downed power lines. As areas are cleared, residents (only residents) will be allowed to return to their homes.

Food and water for affected families: Three stations are set up to make food and water available to North Side residents. The three locations are:

Housing for affected families: 257 people stayed overnight last night in the shelter set up at the Northeast Armory, and there are now about 400 people getting assistance at the Armory. Today, Hennepin County and the City are working with social service providers to assess the housing needs of people in the shelter to move them into housing for tonight and to work with individual families on long-term solutions. Several dozen families with children will be staying at the recently-renovated Drake Hotel Downtown, and other arrangements are being made for others who need housing. The goal is to have as many displaced people and families as possible move out of the shelter and into better housing as early as tonight.

People on the North Side who have not gone to the shelter but who need assistance can still go to the Armory at 1025 Broadway Ave. If folks need transportation to the Armory, they can go to the Fourth Precinct for assistance, which is located at 1926 Plymouth Ave. N.

How the public can help: People throughout Minneapolis and the region have been asking how they can help people affected by the tornado. There are several ways to help:

Tree cleanup: Minneapolis Public Works and Park Board crews continue to work in north Minneapolis to make streets passable following yesterday’s tornado. After that work is done, the City and Park Board will provide debris pickup for property owners in the affected area.

Public Works and Park Board crews will collect large debris beginning May 25 through June 10 for properties in the city west of Interstate 94 and north of Highway 55 (Olson Memorial Highway). This service is for property owners clearing their property after storm damage only—it is not for contractors doing work for property owners or for regular tree pruning. Visit the City's website or call 311 for more information.

Published May. 23, 2011