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Wind Does Damage In North Central South Dakota

April 14, 2010, 6:44 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Wind Does Damage In North Central South Dakota
CAMPBELL COUNTY, SD - The wind has died down but there's still a mess to clean up after it blew through north central South Dakota Tuesday.  It took out roofs, walls and spread fire while it was at it.

As winds swept through central South Dakota, they didn't slow down in Campbell County. The sales barn in Herreid was no match.

"I just actually didn't know what to expect until I got coming down the road and holy smokes. She's got some force," yard foreman Tim Rossow said.

Rossow got a call around 6:30 Tuesday night about what happened. At that same time, firefighters were battling a grass fire in the southern part of the county.

"Well, the biggest challenge was the high winds," emergency manager Lawrence Goehring said.

Not only did the wind spread the fire at least five miles through fields and across a road before firefighters could contain it, it also started the fire. Emergency management officials say the wind caused electrical wires leading to a barn to touch, short out and spark a fire.

"By the time I got there, it had gone basically about a half mile north of the farm already and was getting bigger and bigger," Goehring said.

But the trucks had problems getting it covered. They were getting stuck in wet fields, adding to the danger. At one point, the wind shifted and sent flames straight toward one that was stuck. But it was blowing so hard, the fire passed through too quickly to cause much damage.

That's not surprising for the foreman back at the sales barn.

"There was times you couldn't even see from here to the highway, that dust was blowing so bad. It was just nasty," Rossow said.

And whether it burned down or blew down, the wind left plenty of ruins in central South Dakota.

No houses were damaged in the fire, which ended up covering five miles.

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