Minneapolis Tornado – A few updates

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My tornado memoir – “Twisted” was released on 05/22/12! click here for more details, or to purchase!
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So… we had some drama last week, in dealing with the roofer we’d hired. Yes, hired – full quote, contract, and deposit paid. The owner of the company wanted to add a bunch of stuff after the fact, berated me on my own front lawn, threw his son (the one who quoted/did the contract) in under the bus, went off on a tangent about the people of North Minneapolis (Who are all “welfare scammers”, in his view), and eventually walked out on the contract, as they wanted more money for everything and didn’t want to honor the contract. Keep it clASSY, Pro-1 Construction!

The exchange did, however, give me a huge laugh after the fact. The monumentally obnoxious owner of the company was being incredibly condescending towards me. I called him out: “I am an intelligent, educated person, I don’t need your condescending attitude”.

To which here replied (I seriously could NOT make this up!): “Do you even know what the word ‘condescending’ even MEANS?”.

Oooh boy. If I hadn’t been in such shock over the whole thing, I would have asked him if he knows the meaning of irony! At least he returned our check. Too bad he couldn’t return the TIME he wasted.

Anyway, we have a lead on a new roofing company, and it looks promising. The owner came out with one of her – yes, HER – employees, and was GREAT. No BS, very thorough, very realistic. She’ll be meeting with our insurance adjuster today, so cross your fingers for us! By the end of the day, we hope to have a roofer contracted, as well as a check to start paying for all of this. I hope it turns out well.

The insurance has been bizarre. It started out bad – The tornado happened Sunday, we called and left a message. We didn’t hear from anyone til Tuesday, and they didn’t send someone out till Thursday! He was an independent adjuster they’d contracted. Well, he was most of the way through pulling together his report, when the insurance company decided that it would be cheaper for them to fly out a NEW adjuster from their company, so… now we have a new adjuster. The first one was great – wasn’t going to nitpick damages, etc. Hope the new one is good too! He’s authorized to cut a check on the spot, so that’s promising!

This weekend, we had to spend a bunch of time planning the logistics and design details for the repairs. I cannot tell you how surreal it is to be picking out what kind of flooring you want, with this kind of destruction all around you. It was a lot of fun to design the rest of the house a few months ago… this was just weird. Very.. forced, more of a chore. “We have to make the decision on X before they can get started on Y” kinda thing. Also, the options we have to decide on are numerous and overwhelming. We picked our shingle color- “Harbor Blue”. Well, what color are we re-stuccoing? Are we staying with white? No, let’s go with pale grey. Well, what shades are available there, because we have to pick out our fascia color. Are we changing the fencing? What about the deck? What wood/color/style are we wanting to go with, and how will that mesh with the other decisions? We have to redo a bunch of retaining wall, we should keep that in mind… That kind of stuff.

It’s very hard to wrap our heads around all of this while living out of our suitcases, making sure to visit/take care of the cats at the other side of the city, meeting with insurance, etc. We’re at the end of our ropes, and just want to be DONE with it. 2 weeks “homeless”, and feeling no further forth than a few days after the tornado!

I don’t even want to be in our house at ALL right now, because it’s all awful. Before, I didn’t want to be reminded of what happened, and found it hard to work with so many awful visuals. Now, the house it hot and humid (A/C is out), smells of mold (I’m assuming from the kitchen roof/floor/walls/cabinets)… and the heat makes it about a million times worse. On top of all of that, I have to hear everyone ELSE getting their roofs repaired. With all of the frustration we’ve run into with hiring a roofer… it stings. A LOT. I think I’d welcome back the sounds of helicopters and chainsaws everywhere – as traumatizing as that was – to not have this sort of heartbreak, frustration, and envy when trying to work.

Oh, and I could do without the “Excessive heat warning” that the county just issued til Wednesday night. It’s Monday morning. Ooh boy.

It hasn’t been all bad, we’re very thankful to our friends for the efforts to distract! This weekend, we enjoyed our first trip to “King & I Thai, courtesy of Amy C. Rea. (Who is a fellow author, btw – buy her book!). Man, was that ever an amazing meal! We’ve been meaning to get there some day, and I’ve gotta say – it was worth the wait!

Then, our “token celebrity friend” Shawn Bakken treated us out to see the new X-Men movie. If you followed the saga of my few-days-after-the-Tornado birthday “spent in bed watching superhero movies”, all of which ended up having tornadoes in it, I’ve gotta update: X-Men First Class had a mutant that made tornadoes with his hands. Awesome. Good movie, though… much love to Shawn for KNOWING US, and the “silly” little crap that actually helps normalize things a little.

Regarding the tornadoes in movies… If I end up with PTSD out of all this nonsense, I’m gonna be pissed off.

Any other updates? Well my husband and I haven’t killed each other – or anyone else – yet, so that’s a plus. The cats are still adorable, even if they are NOT happy with us, and not fond of being cooped up in a small bedroom away from home. My car has new windshields! They went in without a problem! Now all we need is new doors (Tomorrow?), and to be cleaned out. Looking forward to having mobility back – dealing with all of the running around, with my husband working 25 minutes away with only 1 car between us has been ROUGH.

Oh! I’ve started writing a book about the whole experience. Should be interesting, trying to put it all to paper. I think it’s a good coping mechanism too. For instance, when the ridiculous drama broke out with the roofer we hired, I calmed a little by telling myself “Whatever. This BS will just make the book even MORE interesting”. A little, anyway. Still pretty upset about it a few days later.

Can’t think of anything else to update. Insurance company should be here in an hour and a half, and it’s already a sauna in here. Help!

On the afternoon of May 22, 2011, North Minneapolis was devastated by a tornado. Twisted recounts the Porters’ first 11 months, post disaster. Rebuilding their house, working around the challenges presented by inadequate insurance coverage. Frustration at repeated bouts of incompetence and greed from their city officials. Dealing with issues such as loss of control, logistics, change, and over-stimulation, as an Aspergian woman.

Subjects covered include: Opportunistic “Vultures”, gawkers, new friendships, a bizarre gingerbread house, unique decisions made with the rebuild – including an internet-famous kitchen backsplash, “Tornado Claus”, contractor drama, water balloons, DIY design and work, music, sensory overload, and details on how to cook jambalaya for almost 300 people, in the parking lot of a funeral home… should you ever find yourself in the position to do so. Order your hard copy here, or digital edition here.

2 thoughts on “Minneapolis Tornado – A few updates

  1. wow… you are FAR in the process. Our insurance auditor/adjuster person is only just TODAY coming out.

    I’m so sorry about the horrible experience w/ the 1st contractor. Can you put in a claim with the BBB? Not that it would fix what they did to you but maybe it would give someone else some forewarning?

  2. I filed my complaint with BBB just an hour or so after it happened! They are members, and also tout their A rating they had with Angie’s List.

    “Had” being the operative word here. Funny thing about ratings based on only one review… 🙂

    What company are you with, that they’re only coming out NOW!? That’s insane. Is it AmFam? Whether we were with AmFam was one of the first questions the new contractor asked us when she arrived! Apparently they’ve been AWFUL in this!

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