2-year anniversary: North Minneapolis tornado


Headlines blaring the news of destruction left by the tornado in Oklahoma this week made for a painful reminder for some north Minneapolis residents who suffered through their own tornado two years ago today.

That storm damaged or destroyed about 3,700 properties, and had a cost of about $80 million. The storm was blamed for two deaths.

For some north Minneapolis residents, recovery continues, WCCO reports. The station chats with Phyllis Patterson, who lost part of her roof in the tornado. Her neighborhood is dotted with vacant lots where homes used to stand. Other homes are still badly in need of repair, and a few are still draped with blue tarps. “I would think that two years later things would be a little better, but some people are still struggling as we are still trying to their homes together,” Patterson tells the station.

KSTP visits Lucy Craft Laney Elementary School in north Minneapolis, where nearly 300 students, about half the school, were displaced from their homes after the 2011 tornado. Teachers do their best to ease student fears when storms approach, the station reports.

KARE 11 reports that donation drives continue even two years later for families who were affected by the north Minneapolis tornado.

The stories of the Oklahoma tornado also hit home in Wadena, where residents still have vivid memories of an EF4 twister that tore through town in 2010, WDAY reports. The five-year anniversary of the Hugo tornado is fast approaching, and residents there are reflecting on their own rebuilding effort, FOX 9 reports.

WCCO explores what plans are in place in Minnesota schools if a tornado hits.

Meanwhile, the long, slow process of cleanup has begun in Oklahoma where an EF5 tornado ripped a wide path south of Oklahoma City on Monday. It's believed that 24 died as a result of that tornado, including nine children. Officials are still trying to quantify the extent of the damage.

KARE 11 has the story of Minnesota native Randy Weidner, 38, who travels the nation as a race horse trainer. He was living at the Celestial Acres Training Center in Moore, Okla., and when the storm hit, he had been preparing for a return trip to Minnesota to race horses at Canterbury Park.

He rode out the storm in a friend's home, but he lost his 12 horses, and many others lost theirs, too, KARE reports. There were more than 100 dead horses in a field near the stables, he told KARE. He also lost his trailer, truck and all his personal belongings – all told at least $260,000 worth of losses, KARE reports.

Forum Communications has the story of Moorhead trucker Steve Marts, who was stuck in Interstate 35 traffic in Moore on Monday, inching along and trapped as the black wall of the storm – swirling with dust and debris – moved across the landscape. His rig survived undamaged and he was back on the road by Tuesday, with a story he won't soon forget.

Here's a slideshow of the 10 deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, nine of which were prior to 1954.

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More than $25 million has been spent so far fixing up the roughly 3,600 homes and businesses damaged in the devastating tornado. Right now the city is trying to contact the hundreds of homeowners who still have damage to their property to ensure they're ready for winter.

Cost of north Minneapolis tornado estimated at $80 million

The tornado that swept through north Minneapolis a year ago Tuesday damaged thousands of homes and businesses. It also dented pocketbooks. When the costs to homeowners, taxpayers, insurance companies, and charitable groups are totaled, the Star Tribune estimates the price tag came to $80 million.

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