Tornado relief update


Just a brief update on relief efforts—where to get help, where to donate, what’s needed. For up-to-the-minute information, go to the Minneapolis tornado Google doc and  Facebook page.

Click here for more TC Daily Planet tornado coverage.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES (from Google resource page)

  • Michelle at Minneapolis Parks and Recreation is looking for volunteers groups 5-20 to help staff the resource center at Farview Park over the next three days. If you can help, please contact her directly at
  • Location: Cross Connections, 1823 Emerson Ave N. Start Time Options:  9am or 1pm. Wednesday (5/25) and Thursday (5/26) teams will work in four-hour shifts in the storm zones doing the following activities: Reaching out to neighbors to determine storm damage, emergency needs, and removing debris in storm zone. tel : (612) 529-6542
  • Northpoint Health and Wellness Center. The food shelf and other areas of NorthPoint are always in need of volunteers. We have opportunities for individuals, families and groups—for one-time events or projects and on a long-term basis. 1315 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411. Tel 612 767 9175
  • Cub Foods (701 W. Broadway) will need volunteers to help set up and put down tables and chairs after their evening free dinners. 
  • Salvation Army needs help loading and unloading donated items that have come in for tornado victims. Wednesday, May 25. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Normandale Tech Center, 6443 Cecilia Cir, Bloomington.
  • Urban Homeworks is facilitating volunteer work in North Minneapolis. They currently do not need volunteers as they are currently assessing need. Watch out for updates on and on their Facebook page. “Please DO NOT come to volunteer today (Tue) unless we contact you directly. “We will be taking the day to plan and free up properties from hazards for volunteers for the rest of the week. Please check back later today for information on volunteering tomorrow (Wed) & the rest of the week.”


From the City of Minneapolis:

A Disaster Recovery Center is opening in north Minneapolis Wednesday to provide services and resources to residents affected by Sunday’s tornado. The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Farview Recreation Center at 621 29th Ave. N. Organizers will evaluate the ongoing hours of the center based on the needs of the community in the first few days.

The City of Minneapolis and many partners are continuing their efforts to get folks back in their homes, ensure their safety and provide the assistance and resources they need to make it through this difficult time.

The site is located close to the area hardest hit by the tornado, and will provide a number of services that will assist residents and small businesses with both short-term and long-term recovery issues. The available services will include:

Basic supplies will be available, including tarps, toiletries, flashlights, batteries, diapers, etc.
Help applying for public assistance, including emergency assistance and food support
Assistance finding temporary shelter
Behavioral health services and counseling
Prescription/medication replacement assistance
Clothing assistance
Help with public schools needs and questions
On site-child care while people are using the center’s services
Interpreter services will be available at the center for people who need help in languages other than English.

Getting to the Disaster Recovery Center

The center will be located inside the Farview Recreation Center at Lyndale and 29th avenues North. The park is served directly by bus route 22B, and routes 5M and 5L stop within a few blocks. Currently, all three of these routes are operating. For bus information visit or call (612) 673-3333.

On Wednesday, free bus transportation will also be provided for folks who want to go to the Disaster Recovery Center from five locations:

·        Northeast Armory at 1025 Broadway St. NE
·        NorthPoint Health and Wellness at 1315 Penn Ave. N.
·        Cub Foods at 701 W. Broadway
·        Penn and Lowry avenues
·        Drake Hotel in Downtown

Buses will depart every half hour from these sites, beginning at 8:45 a.m.

The City of Minneapolis is operating the center in partnership with Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, and the Red Cross.

And for debris removal:

North Side tornado tree debris pickup begins Wednesday
North Side Transfer Station also accepting construction and demolition debris for those affected by the tornado

May 24, 2011 (MINNEAPOLIS) Public Works and Park Board crews will collect tree debris that can be brought to the boulevard beginning Wednesday, May 25 through June 10 for properties affected by the tornado in the city west of Interstate 94 and north of Highway 55 (Olson Memorial Highway). This service is for property owners clearing their property of tree debris after storm damage only—it is not for contractors doing work for property owners or for regular tree pruning.  It is only for tree debris, not construction or other materials.

Here’s how residents in the area can prepare downed trees and branches for collection:

Move larger limbs, branches, and trunks to the boulevard area in front of your house. The City will pick up and dispose of these items at no charge. Crews will collect tree debris from the boulevards beginning May 25 through June 10.
Property owners adjacent to tree debris placed on the boulevard are asked not to park vehicles near the debris, to help crews in the removal process. “No parking” signs may be posted and enforced to facilitate the cleanup operation.
If residents have large tree debris that is located in the back of the house by the alley, call 311 to request an alley pick-up. However, please be advised that this may not be possible in some instances if the needed equipment cannot access the site.
For property owners outside of the defined area that also have storm damaged tree debris, call 311 to request service. Crews will assess the request to see if it qualifies for this special service.
After June 10, property owners can continue to use the City’s regular yard waste services to get rid of small storm debris. These services include the collection of limbs that are less than 3 inches in diameter, are cut to less than 3 feet long, and are bundled with rope or twine (do not use wire). The bundles should not weigh more than 40 pounds.
Before clearing trees and debris make sure there are no downed power lines. Residents can contact Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-1999 to report damaged power lines.
North Transfer Station accepting debris
The North Transfer Station at 2710 Pacific St. will also begin accepting debris at noon on Wednesday, May 25 for those affected by the tornado. Concrete, sheetrock, wood and shingles will be accepted for Solid Waste & Recycling customers who reside in the following neighborhoods: Folwell, Hawthorne, Jordan, Lind-Bohanon, McKinley, Near North, Webber-Camden and Willard-Hay. The Transfer Station is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (including Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 30). A voucher is needed to bring debris to the North Transfer Station. To obtain a voucher, customers need to call 673-2917 or 311.  ONLY Voucher customers will be allowed to use the North Transfer Station. Solid Waste & Recycling customers outside of these neighborhoods affected by the storm should continue to use the South Transfer station voucher program.
Clearing other debris
If you have debris from a building, such as your home or business, contain the debris until you can properly dispose of it. Eliminate hazards, such projecting pieces, broken glass or anything overhead that has come loose. Protect debris from the wind and from anyone who may come along and disturb it. If you have concerns about asbestos in your building debris, contact the Minnesota Department of Health asbestos program at (651) 201-4620 or at
Make sure your contractor or tree company is licensed
Minneapolis Regulatory Services officials are reminding property owners who experienced property damage from the storm to hire only licensed tree service companies and building contractors. The City and State make it easy for you to find out if a company has the proper licenses.
Tree contractors – It’s important to make sure the tree company you use is licensed, because unlicensed companies may not be insured for damage they might cause to your property, and their workers may not be properly trained to protect themselves and your property from damage. Here are some things residents should know when choosing a tree company:
To find out if a tree service contractor is licensed in Minneapolis, visit or call 311. To confirm the status of a new licensee or to file a complaint, call 311.
A licensed contractor must submit a copy of a written estimate to the property owner for approval prior to any work to be performed.
Licensed Tree Service contractors have marked vehicles and display a City of Minneapolis license decal.
Licensed Tree Service contractors maintain insurance in the event of damage to your property, your neighbors’ property, or if anyone is injured on the job site.
In addition, the City requires that each tree service company hire at least one employee who has a current certification as an arborist or a college degree in urban forestry or arboriculture. This ensures the company is educated in plant health, pests and pathogen control, and other aspects of urban forestry.
Building contractors – Anyone performing remodeling, repairs, roofing, and other similar work on residential dwellings must be licensed. Licensed construction professionals are insured and bonded, and obtain building permits which allow inspections of the work performed to ensure that it is done correctly.  For a list of State Licensed building contractors please go to the following web site:
To confirm the license status of a licensee, or to file a complaint, please call 311 or the Business License Division at (612) 673-2080.
Resources for homeowners
If you have questions about your homeowner’s insurance and needed rehab related to the storm damage, contact your insurance company or these local organizations:
Center for Energy & Environment, (612) 335-5884
Housing Resource Center North, (612) 588-3033
Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis, (612) 521-3581