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Thousands Turn Out To Clean Up North Mpls

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -– An estimated 2,000 volunteers made progress on the storm clean-up effort in north Minneapolis Saturday as they worked among the nearly 4,000 damaged properties clearing out light debris.

Last month, a tornado damaged 1,800 homes in north Minneapolis neighborhoods and rendered nearly 200 unlivable. Since the tornado struck, volunteers have been crucial in the recovery process.

“They’ve provided a lot of supplies for people who don’t have all of the necessary basic needs,” said Amanda Melvin, a resident of North Minneapolis.

On Saturday, supplies and volunteers arrived by the bus load.

“It makes you feel like someone’s on your side and you’re not handling this whole situation on your own,” Melvin said.

Volunteers were shuttled in from all over the metro, armed with gloves, garbage bags and the desire to help. Many had no ties to North Minneapolis.

Myra Curry, a resident of North Minneapolis, volunteered her time because she wanted to help out her neighbors.

“Four or five blocks from our house, it looks like a war zone,” Curry said.

Block by block volunteers made their way through the debris, an effort that wasn’t lost on those who live in the community.

“Walking around you see glass and shingles,” Melvin said. “It doesn’t look very nice.”

It will be months, maybe years, before north Minneapolis recovers from the storm.

“We’ve been trying to do what we can to help get this community back up and running,” Curry said.

For now, neighbors are just happy to see some improvement.

“It’s finally looking good up here,” Melvin said.

Sen.Amy Klobuchar was in town and joined one of the volunteer clean up groups. he state is still waiting to hear if this area is approved for federal disaster declaration.

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