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Tornado-Ravaged North Mpls Rebuilds, Remembers

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the North Minneapolis tornado.

On the weekend before the anniversary, the neighborhood celebrated the rebuilding efforts so far.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity teamed up with community leaders to host the North Side Rebuilding Block Party.

Robert and Roberta McClennon joined neighbors to celebrate the rebirth of the place they love.

“When the tornado hit us, I was so terrified, we are vulnerable,” said Roberta. “We couldn’t get in the basement, I have two amputated legs.”

The couple managed to escape safely as two trees fell on their home.

“We just got insurance but it hadn’t taken effect at that time, thank God for Habitat for Humanity because these guys went through and did a wonderful, beautiful job on our home,” said Robert McClennon, who is also disabled.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has repaired 30 tornado damaged homes to date.

In all, the City of Minneapolis says around 2,800 damaged properties have been fixed so far.

Volunteers in a “treecovery” effort spent Saturday replanting trees lost.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board arborists highlighted this Arbor Week by planting trees along boulevards in the tornado-hit areas.

Arborists say 2,600 public trees were damaged along boulevards, and by the end of spring, they hope to plant 3,100 trees to replace the loss.

The McClennons found shelter in the community’s embrace, saying their home is a model for others in the community, and this weekend are thankful to experience another anniversary – 32 years of marriage back in their home.

The City of Minneapolis says a little more than 100 homes still need to be fixed.

Mayor R.T. Rybak will stop at a number of city events commemorating the anniversary on Tuesday, with a tree planting, bike ride, balloon release, and a moment of silence.

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