There were severe storms on Sunday, all over the Midwest.
As you likely heard, there was a record-setting tornado in Joplin, Missouri. I truly cannot imagine the scope of the devastation caused by that multi-vortex twister.
But you may not know that Minneapolis suffered several very grave and devastating hits as well (see National Weather Service notice from Sunday, below.) Even within our close circle of acquaintances, we personally know two families who lost parts of their homes and/or big areas of their neighborhoods.
We drove right through some very ominous weather on our way to Marlene’s wedding at Columbia Manor (33o0 Central Ave N for those of you who know Minneapolis.) We arrived at the wedding around 2:20 p.m. and everyone was immediately ushered to the basement, including the bride, protocol notwithstanding.
The tornado struck our city around 3:30.
For more details, follow this link.
Many, many, many low-income families living in rental properties lost everything they owned.
Now this exceptionally generous city is rallying to help in very tangible ways. Catch just a glimpse of what’s happening here, thanks to the leadership and members of our community. Playing a key role in the recovery efforts is a superb organization called Urban Homeworks. If you want to make a donation somewhere and be assured that your gift will make a difference to these families, Urban Homeworks are great stewards of what they receive.
I love the way that my community cares. And it’s as it should be.
After all, aren’t we all just walking each other home?
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 505 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011 ...STRONG EF-1 RATING ASSIGNED TO THE TORNADO THAT HIT NORTH MINNEAPOLIS AND OTHER AREAS... WINDS OF 100 TO 110 MPH WERE PRODUCED BY THE TORNADO THAT HIT NORTH MINNEAPOLIS...ST. LOUIS PARK...GOLDEN VALLEY...FRIDLEY...MOUNDS VIEW AND BLAINE. IT WAS ON THE GROUND FOR SIX AND ONE QUARTER MILES IN HENNEPIN COUNTY...PLUS AN ADDITIONAL EIGHT MILES ACROSS ANOKA AND RAMSEY COUNTIES AS THE TORNADO WENT THROUGH PARTS OF FRIDLEY... MOUNDS VIEW...AND BLAINE. THE TOTAL PATH LENGTH WAS 14 AND 1/4 MILES. THE TORNADO WAS ABOUT 1/2 MILE WIDE AT ITS WIDEST POINT. THE TIME OF TOUCHDOWN WAS APPROXIMATELY 215 PM...BUT THIS WILL BE FINE TUNED IN THE DAYS TO COME AS MORE EVIDENCE IS GATHERED. ACCORDING TO VARIOUS SECURITY CAMERAS...THE TORNADO MOVED INTO FRIDLEY AT 222 PM. THE INITIAL TOUCHDOWN IN ST. LOUIS PARK WAS 3/4 OF A MILE SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF THE INTERSECTION OF INTERSTATE 394 AND HIGHWAY 100 WHERE TWO BUSINESSES SUSTAINED ROOF DAMAGE. THE TORNADO MOVED NORTHEAST...CROSSING HIGHWAY 100 WHERE IT HIT THE FIRST RESIDENCES ALONG CEDAR LAKE ROAD. IT THEN ENTERED THE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF GOLDEN VALLEY...CROSSED INTERSTATE 394 AND HEADED FOR THEODORE WIRTH PARK. DURING THIS TIME IT TOOK A BIT OF A NORTHWARD TURN AND BEGAN MOVING TO THE NORTH-NORTHEAST. THE TORNADO MOVED ACROSS WIRTH LAKE AND ENTERED THE CITY OF MINNEAPOLIS BETWEEN GLENWOOD AVENUE AND 16TH AVENUE. UP TO THIS POINT...DAMAGE WAS EF-0 WITH THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE DAMAGE BEING DOWNED TREES ATOP BUILDINGS AND VEHICLES. AS THE TORNADO ENTERED MINNEAPOLIS, IT STRENGTHENED TO EF-1...AND BEGAN DEMOLISHING GARAGES...SHEDS...AND PARTIALLY REMOVING ROOFS. THERE WAS A HOUSE HERE OR THERE THAT HAD THEIR ROOFS COMPLETELY REMOVED...BUT ADJACENT HOUSES AND OTHER NEARBY STRUCTURES AND TREES DID NOT SUPPORT RAISING THE LEVEL TO EF-2. THE TORNADO HEADED FOR THE AREA AROUND PENN AVENUE AND BROADWAY AVENUE...THEN LOWRY AVENUE AND LOGAN AVENUE...THEN TO 42ND AVENUE AND LYNDALE AVENUE. IT CROSSED THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER JUST NORTH OF THE CAMDEN BRIDGE...AND BEGAN CAUSING DAMAGE IN ANOKA COUNTY. IT MOVED ACROSS THE MINNEAPOLIS WATER INTAKE FACILITY. AT THE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY...A FREE STANDING STORAGE GARAGE WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED...WITH NUMEROUS COTTONWOOD TREES ON THE GROUNDS UPROOTED OR HAVING LARGE LIMBS SNAPPED OFF. FROM THE WATER FACILITY...THE TORNADO TRACKED NORTHEAST TO A RAIL YARD AND A LARGE INDUSTRIAL FACILITY...WHERE A LARGE METAL BUILDING ON THE GROUNDS HAD PARTS OF TWO WALLS RIPPED OFF AND A LARGE SECTION OF THE ROOF BLOWN OFF. AT THE RAIL YARD...EIGHT TRAIN CARS WERE TIPPED OVER. THIS CAN BE DONE BY WINDS LESS THAN 110 MPH. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RAIL YARD...MORE INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES AND WAREHOUSES SUSTAINED DAMAGE ALONG MIAMI STREET...THE WORST BEING A WAREHOUSE THAT LOST PART OF ITS ROOFING. THE STRONGER EF-1 DAMAGE OCCURRED IN THE AREA BETWEEN PENN AND BROADWAY AND THE CAMDEN BRIDGE. THE TORNADO THEN MOVED ACROSS RESIDENTIAL SECTIONS OF FRIDLEY... WHERE EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE WAS DONE NORTHEAST OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL. THE TORNADO THEN WEAKENED AS IT CONTINUED NORTHEAST ACROSS THE EAST SIDE OF OF FRIDLEY TO SPRING LAKE...WHERE IT MOVED INTO THE NORTHWEST SIDE OF MOUNDS VIEW. SPORADIC TREE DAMAGE OCCURRED DURING THIS TIME FRAME. THE LAST SIGNS OF DAMAGE WERE SEEN ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE BLAINE-ANOKA COUNTY AIRPORT...WHERE A FEW HANGARS RECEIVED SOME MINOR EXTERIOR DAMAGE. THE TORNADO WAS ON THE GROUND FOR ABOUT 8 MILES FROM FRIDLEY TO BLAINE.