The May 22, 2011 tornado that swept through north Minneapolis led to the deaths of two people and damaged 3,700 structures, causing millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. It also displaced countless neighborhood residents, some of whom have not yet recovered. One year later, MPR News revisits the neighborhood to see how the recovery was managed, what gaps remain, and look ahead to what's next for north Minneapolis.

First Person with Tom Crann

How these Minneapolis residents dealt with the tornado and its aftermath.

Chanda Smith Baker Chanda Smith Baker

A member of the Northside Community Response Team and chair of the Human Needs Committee, whose home was also damaged. She discusses how she prioritized recovering from the storm at home and work. Feature »

Makeda Zulu Gillespie Makeda Zulu Gillespie

The director of outreach at the University of Minnesota's Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center takes Tom Crann on a tour of the neighborhood, one year after the storm. Feature »

Dana Gronau Steve and Dana Gronau

A homeowner talks about the difficulties in navigating insurance and lingering issues in the neighborhood. Feature »

Kris BroganKris Brogan

Although her restaurant suffered only "fringe" damage, Kris Brogan said the effects throughout the neighborhood coupled with the economic downturn has influenced business. Feature »

R. T. RybakR.T. Rybak

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak was quick to the scene following the tornado strike, arriving to the neighborhood minutes after the storm. Feature »

MPR Voices

First-person accounts from reporters who covered the disaster.

Brandt Williams Brandt Williams

An MPR reporter who lived in north Minneapolis shares his observations. Feature »

Brandt Williams Rupa Shenoy

MPR reporter tells what it was like to be among the first media on the scene. Feature »


It wasn't just residents who were affected by the storm. The state's native species took a beating as well.

HeronsHerons' new home

MPR's Tom Crann went in search of the herons' new home, just upstream in the Mississippi on an island near Marshall Terrace Park. Feature »


TreesTrees are replanted

Minneapolis Park Board forestry director Ralph Sievert talks about the process of replacing the trees lost in the tornado. Feature »

Resources & Links

Prior coverage


Reporters: Jess Mador, Rupa Shenoy, Brandt Williams, Laura Yuen
Broadcast editor: Laura McCallum
Online editors: Melanie Sommer, Robert Boos
Photographers: Jennifer Simonson, Jeffrey Thompson, Caroline Yang
Public Insight producer: Molly Bloom, Melody Ng