Tornado clean-up in North Minneapolis


Volunteers organized through Urban Homeworks, Sanctuary CDC and Minneapolis Council of Churches gathered at Cross Connections. John, one of the leaders, gave instructions: “Law enforcement is running the effort. We’re under them. Be respectful. Construction debris and rubbish goes to the alley, landscape debris gets cut up and left in front. Most of us live right here, we can carry information to families trying to find shelter …. Don’t cross barricades. Today will be a lot of periphery cleanup where it’s safe.”

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Tom N. added, “if we hurt ourselves, we tie up resources, so don’t rush, be careful.” Steve, a team leader, said, “Watch where you are walking. There are a lot of shingles lying around upside down, which means there are nails sticking out of them.”

Volunteers joined hands in prayer before heading out.

All volunteers with Urban Homeworks sign a liability waiver and get a street pass in exchange. They are assigned to a crew and attend an orientation. Urban Homeworks’ Facebook page asks new potential volunteers to wait and watch their page. There will be assignments later in the week once areas have been cleared of downed power lines and concerns about potential gas leaks have been addressed.

On Webber Parkway near Lyndale as of about 1 p.m. Monday, May 23, broken utility poles and hardware were stacked up, and new poles waiting to be installed.

Senator Amy Klobuchar visited the Northeast Minneapolis Armory, 1025 Broadway St. NE, briefly before heading to the tour for the governor and other officials to see the damage in North Minneapolis. Dawn Stevens of Fox9 News and Cory Mitchell of the Star Tribune, looking on, were staked out looking for whatever information was available. The armory was temporary shelter for 257 people Sunday night. According to the City of Minneapolis, this morning (Monday May 23) arrangements were made for families with children to stay at the newly renovated Drake Hotel Downtown.