MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Thursday, city officials said more than 3,000 homes, businesses, and other city buildings were damaged by Sunday’s tornado.
Xcel Energy still has more than 400 workers in North Minneapolis, trying to make sure all homeowners get their power back. Xcel spokesman Tom Hoen said only 727 customers were still without power as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
“I had never been through one before and I hope I never have to go through one again. It was just terrible,” said Bradley Zahn.
Four days after a tornado forced Zahn to take cover in his basement, he’s still assessing the damage it left behind. His house got hit hard, and he lost a 100-year-old Boxelder tree in the process.
“The north side of my house is gone. The roof is gone. My neighbor John Gonzales, the south side of his house is unscathed. Not even a scratch on it,” said Zahn.
Gonzales replied, “I feel lucky. By the grace of God that happened. I hate to be clichéd, but that’s it.”
Gonzales may not realize just how lucky he is. In all, 274 homes in North Minneapolis sustained major damage. More than 1,600 received minor damage.
So far, 147 homes have received orange placards, meaning the city considers them uninhabitable.
The city is seeing its own damage in other ways. They’ve hauled more than 1,700 truckloads of tree debris since Sunday, and have had to make more than 150 tire repairs to city trucks and police cars as they drive through debris-laden streets.
On foot, and even after a few days to take it all in, some volunteers helping with the clean-up still can’t believe the amount of damage.
“You see all the pictures on the news and then you get down here and you are like, wow, they have really lost a lot,” said Naomi Hancock, a volunteer from Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Of the damaged properties, it is estimated that more than 200 are foreclosed homes.
Minneapolis Police say there have been some arrests made in regards to burglaries and looting, but they say the problem isn’t out of control.