(Alexandria, MN) One day after the area was rocked by a once in a lifetime fire in downtown Alexandria, people struggled with putting their next foot forward. Mountains of debris and a similar sized mountain of questions lie ahead for business owners, local authorities and people without a home. Half a dozen businesses were devastated by Tuesday's fire and an equal number of others are in limbo because of smoke damage. VOA's Joe Korkowski peels away one or two layers of the efforts to move ahead on the 500 block of Broadway. (VIDEO STORY below):
USE OF BROADWAY
Highway 29 in Alexandria has been reopened to traffic in both directions; however, motorists traveling southbound will encounter lane closures from Fourth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, as cleanup from yesterday’s structure fire continues. Delays and congestion are expected.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges motorists to always drive with caution, and reminds them to slow down, obey traffic control and never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones.
CITY/COUNTY NOT SET UP FOR DONATIONS
Neither the city or the county are currently set up to receive any donations with regard to victims of the downtown fire. Douglas County Emergency Management Director Julie Anderson explains. (AUDIO BEOLW)
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA STATEMENT
On Wednesday, city, county, fire and police met with business owners and others connected to determining the next step for public safety. City Communications Coordinator Sara Stadtherr talked with KXRA Radio Thursday morning about that meeting. (AUDIO BELOW)
– The City of Alexandria is still reeling in the aftermath of the fire downtown yesterday on the 500 block of Broadway Street. Crews have maintained an overnight watch on the scene and assessment is being done now concerning all Public Safety elements. While the assessment of the structures is being done, we ask that the public use only the sidewalks that are open and stay clear from the area unless you are visiting a business in the vicinity.
The West parking lot between Fillmore and Broadway will be open from Cowing Robards and to the South.
The City of Alexandria is grateful for the community support for the displaced residents and the business owners. At this time the immediate needs are being met. The city is not coordinating any collection drop offs or fundraising efforts at this time. City leaders are meeting with impacted business owners to determine future needs and continuing to coordinate with the American Red Cross regarding the displaced residents.