Minneapolis hopes feds help pay for storm cleanup

Uninhabitable home
A sign designates a home uninhabitable on N. Logan Ave. in north Minneapolis, Minn. Wednesday, May 25, 2011. More than 100 homes have been deemed uninhabitable in north Minneapolis in the wake of the May 22 tornado.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Minneapolis officials are hoping federal disaster assistance will help pay recovery costs from the tornado that struck the city's north side nearly two weeks ago.

State officials say they have spent or expect to spend more than $4 million helping restore roads, bridges and other public services in Hennepin and Anoka County areas struck by the storm.

Minneapolis R.T. Rybak said he doesn't know how much money his city has spent so far, but says contingency funds are being used to cover the costs.

"We are assuming that the federal disaster declaration comes through, but that's a very uncertain assumption," said Rybak. "If that doesn't come through, we have a very serious problem. At this point we have to do what we have to do."

Some 2,000 volunteers will spend Saturday helping with the cleanup effort. They will work in two shifts organized by the city, clearing brush and doing light home repairs in the city's north side neighborhoods.