Some more fortunate than others

Minneapolis tornado survivor Cathy Stolte shares her harrowing story with Red Cross volunteer Dave Schoeneck. Photo credit: Jason Viana/American Red Cross

Kathy Stolte was working on a cross word puzzle Sunday when she heard a crashing sound. She grabbed her dog and headed for the basement, but the tornado had already passed her north Minneapolis bungalow, leaving behind a path of twisted trees, broken homes and destruction.

Kathy, her husband, and her dog were fortunate — no injuries, just property damage. Part of the roof of their home blew off, and rain soaked the insulation, making the house uninhabitable. Her son’s car was skewered by a five inch tree branch, from windshield to floorboard. The worst damage was to the garage, parts of which currently reside in her neighbor’s kitchen.

Red Cross volunteers are providing water and snacks to people helping to remove debris after the May 22 tornado in Minneapolis. Photo credit: Jason Viana/American Red Cross

On Wednesday, as repair crews from the City of Minneapolis were hauling away the remains of large trees from their block, and crews from Xcel Energy were restoring electric power to their block, Kathy was grateful when a Red Cross disaster team from the St. Croix Chapter of the American Red Cross came down the street, offering food and water to anyone who needed it. Eric Nickolai and Sherm Boucher were busy handing out water, sandwiches, energy drinks and fruit to residents, volunteers, and work crews.

While Kathy faces weeks before her house can be reoccupied, she is one of the lucky ones who had homeowner’s insurance and has a place to stay temporarily. Hundreds of others were out trying to salvage their belongings and working to find food, clothing and shelter for themselves and their families.

(Reporting by Red Cross volunteer Dave Schoeneck)

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