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1 Year After Tornado, Mpls. Couple Still Picking Up The Pieces

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's a day not many north Minneapolis residents will forget. Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the City's destructive tornado.

WCCO talked with one family who not only had to deal with the twister, but they also had to cope with a storm of their own.

Marie Porter and her husband Michael had just returned home from running errands when the storm hit.

"The roof was caving in on us, there was water pouring through that, there was broken glass everywhere, there was a tree sticking out of our bedroom wall," said Marie.

"It was all just a big shock" recalled Michael.

Both of the Porters have Asperger syndrome, which is a condition that's part of the autism spectrum.

"Aspergers makes us more sensitive to sensory issues than most people," said Marie. "The noise everywhere, I think that's the worst part for me, there was chainsaws everywhere, and lots of helicopters everywhere and people, nothing was where it was supposed to be."

They stayed in a hotel for six weeks.

"Our insurance didn't even cover our repairs, much less living expenses" said Marie.

Damage to their home was about $150,000. After insurance, that left them in the hole for about $60,000. So, they are doing most of the work themselves.

"All the cabinets I've done from scratch," said Michael. "I still have to do the doors. We're waiting on the wood for that, so I still have a long way to go, but for right now we've got functionality back."

At the time of the interview, a dump truck delivered dirt.

"We're getting topsoil delivered so we can actually redo the whole yard, everything got pretty tore up from the tornado," said Michael.

Marie wrote a book about the tornado called, "Twisted," which, among other things, recounts the Porters' first 11 months post tornado.

Now, Marie has an interesting way of looking at the storm. She said the tornado was like an immunization.

"It attacks your system at the time where you get the shot and after that you're stronger going forward and I think that's how I look at the tornado," said Marie.

For more information on the book, click here.

Sonya Goins, Producer
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