By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly seven years after a devastating tornado hit north Minneapolis, people are still cleaning up from it.

And while many neighborhoods have recovered, memories are still vivid.

“Yeah, I’m surprised it’s been that long. Seven years, it’s been a long while, yeah,” said James Yarber, a north Minneapolis resident.

The tornado was a direct hit that killed one person, injured 30 others and destroyed nearly everything in its path.

“Trees laying everywhere. People’s yards and windows and everything,” said Yarber.

It’s something most people here will never forget. From the start, neighbors were trying to focus on the future.

“We had our neighbor’s house behind the alley. The top of their house was laying on our garage,” said Kathie Stadler.

Stadler weathered the storm that day, but years later, she’s still picking up the pieces in her front yard, literally. Glass from broken windows still lingers.

“If you do any yard work or whatever, there’s always pieces of glass that you come across from it,” said Stadler.

But as trees grow back and streets recover, Stadler remembers something positive: How a tornado brought people from different communities together. Knowing the devastation meant they didn’t have a lot, but they still had each other.

“I think it really brought our block together beautifully. Everyone looked out for everyone else. They really did,” said Stadler.

It’s estimated that wind speeds from that tornado reached 135 miles an hour.

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