Severe storm extensively damages Sioux Falls

A storm caused extensive damage in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Source: NBC)
A storm caused extensive damage in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Source: NBC)(KSNB)
Published: Sep. 11, 2019 at 6:34 AM CDT
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Authorities in South Dakota said a strong storm that hit Sioux Falls did not appear to result any deaths or serious injuries, but it did leave dozens of buildings damaged or destroyed.

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said there have been a few minor injuries reported, but none were serious.

National Weather Service Meteorlogist Todd Heitkamp called the storm a "nightmarish situation." He said while one confirmed tornado touched down, though he said it is possible more than one hit. NWS teams will be out to assess. Heitkamp said likely most of the damage was caused by straight line winds.

Director of Public Works Mark Cotter said the ares between Marion Road and Cliff Avenue, and from 26th Street to 85th Street were the hardest hit. He said so far, the city has confirmed 37 structures collapsed or had structural issues due to the storm.

TenHaken said there were some issues with the city's siren system. He said not all sirens were activated during the warning, which he called a "breach of city protocol." He said the city "owning up" to the issue, and is investigating what caused it. Though Heitkamp specified that those sirens are only meant to be heard outside, and people inside should rely on other measures.

Among the buildings damaged are Avera Heart Hospital and an Advanced Auto Parts store. The local school district delayed the start of classes Wednesday as crews worked to clear debris from city streets. Xcel Energy's outage map shows more than 8,000 customers without power in the area.

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