Video of Sunday tornado released

By way of WCCO, North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale has released security camera footage of the tornado that ripped through north Minneapolis on Sunday.

Presumably, more of these types of videos will trickle out, but so far in a city full of security cameras and a few hundred thousand people, there have been very few videos of the actual tornado that caused such havoc.

Meanwhile, the city of Minneapolis provided this update on the recovery efforts this afternoon:

People are retuning to their homes: Following Sunday’s tornado, emergency managers divided the area affected into three zones, and to date residents in zone 1 and zone 2 have been allowed to return home. Within these zones, staff have spent the days going block-by-block, door-to-door, assessing damage, evaluating the safety of structures, and clearing debris to reopen streets. As areas are cleared, residents (only residents) will be allowed to return to their homes. If staff identify a property as unsafe, they will place an orange placard on the front door. Owners and residents should not enter a property that has been identified as unsafe. City officials are working to clear the way so it’s safe for folks in all three zones to return to their homes by Wednesday.

Continued housing for affected families: The shelter set up at the Northeast Armory accommodated 61 people overnight and is continuing today to provide services to people in need but the number of people needing shelter services is going down as more people are returning to their homes. Since Tuesday, more than two dozen families with children have moved from the shelter to the recently-renovated Drake Hotel Downtown. People who need assistance can still go to the Armory at 1025 Broadway Ave. If folks need transportation to the Armory, call 311. Since opening Sunday, 535 have gotten assistance at the shelter.

All streets now accessible to emergency vehicles: Minneapolis Public Works crews, in partnership with Xcel Energy, have been working to clear debris and downed power lines. Streets are now passable for emergency vehicles and work continues to clear them curb to curb to accommodate all traffic.

Update on alley cleanup, trash pickup: Together with Xcel Energy, Public Works crews began the work of clearing alleys today, beginning with the hardest hit areas. Garbage pickup is proceeding as normal, if possible. Public Works is also looking to giving residents in the affected area additional vouchers for excess garbage and debris that would not normally be picked up by garbage crews to the South Transfer Station located at 2850 20th Ave. S. Residents normally are allowed six vouchers per year.

Tree damage and cleanup: Approximately 2,000 trees in parks and along boulevards were downed or damaged during the tornado. Minneapolis Public Works, Park Board and St. Paul Forestry have been working to make the roads passable in the storm damaged area.

Beginning May 25 through June 10 Public Works and Park Board crews will collect large debris 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. Homeowners should not mix construction debris with tree debris.

Beginning Wednesday the Forestry Division will begin renting cranes to remove boulevard trees that have fallen on homes.

Utilities update: After Sunday’s tornado, Xcel Energy estimated that 28,000 homes were without power. As of today, 7,000 homes are without power and Xcel hopes to have power restored to them by tomorrow. Once Xcel Energy repairs its power lines, it is still possible for homes to be without power if their mast is damaged. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to higher a licensed electrician to repair the damaged mast. One of the biggest safety concerns is still downed power lines, and if people see lines down, they should assume they’re live. Stay away from downed lines and report them to Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4995.

Center Point Energy addressed more than 100 gas leaks following Sunday’s tornado and have been working to restore gas service to properties that had it shut off. If you need a safety check on your property or would like the gas turned back on, call 1-800-234-5800.

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. The Minneapolis Foundation will match donations. To make a donation by credit card, visit 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 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.

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