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98 MPH Wind Slams Lesterville

June 23, 2010, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

98 MPH Wind Slams Lesterville
LESTERVILLE, SD - Tuesday night's storms brought more than just heavy rain. Strong straight line winds toppled buildings and trees across KELOLAND. One of the hardest hit areas was Lesterville, where winds slammed the small town at nearly 100 miles per hour.

Powerful winds blew down several large trees.  Even though it wasn't a tornado, the town treated it like one. 

"We have a requirement in town here, at 60 miles per hour we set off the storm siren.  And then within the next 15 minutes we were at 98.7 miles per hour," Paul Scherschligt said.

Scherschligt knows it was close to 100 miles per hour because he and his wife are trained weather spotters for Yankton County. They had weather instruments with them in their truck and were taking a reading when the storm hit. 

"She had to pull her hand in because the rocks were flying up off the gravel road hitting her in the hand.  She could no longer maintain her hand outside the window," Scherschligt said.

There are broken windows and branches strewn everywhere in town. The wind sheered the bolts off a grain bin at the town's elevator, lifting it off its foundation and tossing it on top of power lines.

At times, Scherschligt thought he and his wife were going to be blown away, if not for their training. 

"Just making sure we kept our nose into it as straight as possible so we wouldn't get picked up, but I think if it would have gone any higher, I don't think it would have mattered how perfect we would have been in an alignment.  We would have had some serious issues.  We got lucky," Scherschligt said.

Despite all the damage in Lesterville, no one is hurt.

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