1 year after tornado, struggles continue in north Minneapolis

5:25 PM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - One year later, the memories of the tornado that hit north Minneapolis still linger. For Beatrice Powell and her husband, so does the work.

"We had to rehire new contractors and start the work all over again," said Powell. "It's been very stressful."

Work to the siding, the roof, and the porch is finally being done, but only after an allegedly crooked contractor put in one day of work and took of $10,000.

"We went through the whole winter with our house under construction. No siding and no porch," she recalls. "He ripped off the porch and disappeared."

The Powell family has pursued legal action against the contractor and recently hired a new team of remodelers to handle the workload.

"Thank God," says Powell. "It's almost like we've gotten a new house, now."

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry estimate roughly 20 homeowners filed complaints against but their contractors following the tornado on May 22. It's a fairly low number, but it is enough for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota to offer a few tips as we roll into another season of severe weather.

"With contractors, check their credentials, license, and see if the belong to any of the trade associations," says Mark Kulda. "One of the red flags is when a contractor wants some of the money up front to pay their suppliers. Normally, contractors have a pretty good relationship with their suppliers already."

Click on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website more information on insurance claims and the Department of Labor and Industry for tips on dealing with contractors.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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