As you know, North Minneapolis was struck by a devastating tornado yesterday. The Neighborhood and Community Relations Department will provide updates to neighborhood organizations over the next few days to keep you informed of recovery efforts and what your neighborhood organization can do to help. Please note that the information below is the best information we have at this time. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. If your organization has any questions or comments, please contact Carrie Aspinwall Day at (612) 673-2243 or by email at [email protected].
Please also check the City’s website at http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/, or call 311.
For safety, and to assist with recovery efforts, three Exclusion Zones have been established in North Minneapolis. People will need to show I.D. and/or the reason they need to get into a zone. Our understanding at this point is that the Exclusion Zones are still in effect and checkpoints around the Exclusion Zones are still in place. For a map of the exclusion zone and checkpoints, please see http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/news/docs/TornadoExclusionZone.pdf. For more information on the Exclusion Zone, please see the City’s website at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/news/20110523NMplsTordanadoUpdate_1.asp.
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:
- Lowry and Penn avenue
- Golden Valley Road and Penn Avenue
- Lowry and Lyndale avenues
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:
- Donate funds, not goods – The Minneapolis Foundation has established the Minnesota Helps – North Minneapolis Recovery Fund to assist with both short-term and long-term housing and recovery-related needs on the North Side. To make a donation by credit card, visit www.GiveMN.org or send checks for the recovery effort to The Minneapolis Foundation, 80 S. 8th St., Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN, 55402. People can also donate to the Red Cross at www.redcrosstc.org. Please do not donate goods at this time.
- In the coming days, volunteers will be needed – There are crews working already in the neighborhoods, but the conditions are not yet safe enough to accommodate volunteers. The City and Urban Homeworks, a local nonprofit, will be making a call to volunteers in the coming days, but at this point it is not safe to bring folks in.
- 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.
- The Governor and other state and federal elected staff have toured the area for a better assessment of the damage. FEMA is on the ground and will be conducting their damage assessments.
- Corporations that want to donate goods or volunteer staff (not individual contributions): please email information including name, phone number and rough idea of quantity and type of goods and email to Marc Dronen ([email protected]).
- Catalyst and KMOJ have partnered and they are accepting non monetary donations at their location at Penn and Broadway.
- 94 exit ramps are closed and will be until the zones are cleared – anticipated that will take a few days.
- Minneapolis Animal Control is OPEN to bring animals to the shelter. ACC will respond as usual to loose dogs, etc. Customers can go to ACC to look for lost animals.
The following schools are open for shelter, food and water for those that need it:
- Patrick Henry High School
- North High School
Please consider re-posting this on your neighborhood website so everyone can have the proper information.