Tornado shelter gets 11th-hour reprieveby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — The American Red Cross will have a few extra days to find a new emergency shelter location for tornado victims in north Minneapolis.
Red Cross workers told about 35 residents yesterday that they would have to move out of the North Commons Recreation Center by Thursday morning. The announcement surprised residents, and even some Hennepin County workers who are offering support services at the center.
A three-week agreement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which provided the space, was set to expire Thursday.
But park board spokeswoman Dawn Sommers said the agency is willing to loan out the center for a few more days to give the Red Cross time to find a new location.
"They seem confident they'll have one soon," Sommers said. "We're just trying to be flexible and support their needs. If they need to stay at the recreation center through this weekend, we certainly want to accommodate that."
The park board needs its building back for summer programming that starts Monday, Sommers said. For the past three weeks, the center has been closed to the public while housing the tornado victims.
The Red Cross is "closer" to landing a new shelter location than it was yesterday, but nothing is settled, said spokeswoman Lynette Nyman.
Some displaced residents say finding new rental housing after the storm has been a struggle.