MINNEAPOLIS -- Hennepin County officials say one is dead, at least 22 are injured and devastation is widespread after a suspected tornado touched down just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Minneapolis Police will be enforcing a curfew starting at 9 p.m. Sunday and lasting until 6 a.m. Monday. Checkpoints will be set up around a wide perimeter of the affected area of north Minneapolis. People must show officers proof they live in the area to be let in.
Meanwhile Minneapolis Mayor R-T Rybak is warning people to stay out of the northern part of his city as first responders search for victims and attempt to clear streets of trees and debris.
Rybak declared a state of emergency for the city Sunday evening.
Sunday afternoon, Rybak tweeted "DO NOT come to NMpls to gawk at tornado damage. 1st responders can't keep people safe when others are in way. This is important; thank you."
KARE 11 reporter Jana Shortal arrived near the intersection of West Broadway and Penn just before 4 p.m. and described the scene as "devastating," and "complete chaos." Jana spoke of church and house roofs being torn off, large mature trees being ripped out of the ground, and more than a dozen ambulances lined up with crews to care for those injured.
Area hospitals have received approximately 29 patients as the result of the apparent tornado touchdown. Most of those injuries are described minor in nature, but two are described as critical.
Minneapolis Public Works crews are working with Hennepin County and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board crews to clear North Side streets of debris. Building inspectors are in the area assessing the damage and will work through the night.
Residents are urged to call Minneapolis 311 for NON-EMERGENCY calls about storm debris. Emergency calls should still go to 911.
The public is reminded to call 911 immediately to report any gas leaks and stay away from the area of the leak.
From the air it is apparent how severe the damage is. Entire blocks of homes are missing roofs and large trees lay across roads, making them impassable.
The City has set up an emergency shelter at the Northeast Armory, just east of Broadway and Central. The Red Cross is also in the area, in the process of setting up a shelter and providing shelter, food and clothing for residents whose homes are affected. Victims are urged to call 612-871-7676.
North Memorial has opened the Family Center in the Vance DeMong Classroom as a patient waiting area and for individuals seeking temporary shelter.
Powerlines lay on the ground, and residents are warned to stay away from them until power crews can respond.
KARE 11's Jeff Olsen, also working the scene, described the powerful smell of gas and also described devastation as "widespread."
Our news crews are on the scene and will provide the latest images and information on KARE 11 News at 10 p.m., and of course on kare11.com.
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