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.

Comments (14)
  1. Question says:

    Did the people who live in the areas help out today?

  2. Angus says:

    Notice how a disaster brings out the best in people.

    Also the scumbags with questions that border or cross over racial overtones

    Wonder where all the volunteers were able to eat lunch and get water today?

  3. liam Gilmorasy says:

    I would love to know how things turned out there.
    Mark, truly, did a lot of the neighborhood people help out as well?
    I have a position about helping out in these situations only because I feel if there are healthy people within the community there should be amble muscle and grunt power to clean the neighborhood up..
    My own neighborhood was caught in a miserable storm ages ago.. And everyone in the area was out the next day cutting, lifting and setting things right without thought of asking for charity helpers….
    What is different about these communities.
    Sometimes it seems people from the outside show up at these events to make a statement other than just cleaning up.
    Sometimes it seems it is more about: “See everyone, we are good people and we want you to like us. Please do not blame us for your misfortunes….”
    Either that or it is an attempt to eleviate some sort of collective guilt.
    So.. Mark, how did things really appear there?
    I love being wrong about this sort of thing.. I mean that sincerely.

    1. Dave Seavy says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Read my post below

    2. Mark Lavalla says:

      With the high rate of renters in that neighborhood its easy to understand how there might be less help from them with the cleanup. most homeowners have insurance and have coverage to pay for hotels while there houses are being fixed. unlike most renters who have to find a place for themselves and their families to live. . How are you gong to help clean up your old neighborhood when you are busy trying to find a new one?

  4. Dave Seavy says:

    This is great to hear. In the 1970’s I lived above the Malone Funeral Home at Fremont and Lowry N, and worked there. I got to know many of the people on the North Side, and it is a wonderful sight to see so many pitching in and helping out. If I didn’t live so far away I’d be there helping as well. The Malone building is gone now, but the memories of the awesome neighbors will go on forever. You’re all in my prayers.

  5. INGY says:


    1. Bouchey says:

      I hope your home and neighborhood are destroyed by a natural disaster and no one helps you out, You are truly a filthy and worthless animal. 🙂

      1. Carol says:

        Really, Nice comment. I noticed that out of the 2000 volenteers Saturday all were bused in and not from the North side. Wouldn’t hurt them to pitch in and help with cleanup. But, then again they might be out spending the welfare checks as it is close to the first of the month

    2. Dekopaj. says:

      So by gangs and thugs you mean black people, right? I don’t know why you cowards don’t ever just come out and say it.

  6. The Truth says:

    The article “did” state that these are people without the supplies needed to get the job done. North Mps does have a lot of low income people but that does not mean that they are thugs or on welfare. If you know anything about welfare and purchasing a home you have to be “dead broke” to receive welfare and even in good times had to have a job to buy a house. This would mean that they probably don’t own a home if they are on welfare. YES, the landlords should be doing their part…

    I do not live in North Minneapolis and in fact there are bad neighborhoods and I have even had some people that live there tell me that from block to block the neighborhoods are different. That does not mean they are all bad people. God will sort all of that out in the end. We should all come together in times of crisis, this is MANKIND. We “ALL” have our faults. One may want to think about their own faults before judging.

    I would be careful what one wishes and states before judging. Anyone could be in this situation at any time.

    Thank you all that helped for making Minnesota a better place to live and helping those in need. ~ I have health problems and cannot help. I am thankful for those of you that can and do.

    By the way, it has been reported that a lot of these homes were empty. My opinion is that we Minnesotans would “Iwould think”, not want to have a bunch of homes destroyed and just left in a heap.

  7. North Sider says:

    First: Thank you to everyone who helped out. The help was truly appreciated.
    Now on to addressing the negative comments. The vast majority of people who live in NOMI are law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. We are just as disgusted by the minority of criminals that live in our midst (or the equal number who come into our neighborhood and commit crimes). Did we help? You should have seen this place right after the tornado it was much, much worse than it was Saturday morning. And just because help came didn’t mean it was time to quit although you have to understand there are a lot of people who have been going non-stop for almost two weeks, doing without things like electricity, telephone, cable, and internet or in extreme cases roofs.

    You should have been here Monday May 23rd or Tuesday the 24th. There were gangs roving the streets, gangs of muscle moving heavy things. I saw one truck with three men and a sign that said “Free Help, just ask”. I saw a teenager who took it upon himself to direct traffic and offer information. He obviously just saw a need and started doing it. He wore jeans and a white tee and I would have not been surprised to learn he was in a gang.

    North Minneapolis has it’s problems (even before the tornado) but there are many, may good people that live here. How dare you lump us in with the small minority of scumbags that live here. After all, you have them in your community too.

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