PARKSTON, S.D. (KELO) – Residents in Parkston were woken up early Wednesday morning by strong winds, as high as 89 mph, according to the KELOLAND Live Doppler HD Storm Center.
86-year-old Nelly Green got a knock on her apartment door. Her neighbor said to take cover in the hallway.
“I went out in the hallway where the rest of them were, and thought if we’re gonna go, we’re gonna go together,” Green said.
There have been no injuries reported, according to Hutchinson County emergency manager Dave Hoffman.
Green’s apartment complex lost power. She requires a daily breathing treatment in the morning. Her daughter, Noreen Wallace, drove from Tripp, SD to get her mom and find power for her treatment.
Wallace woke up from her phone going off and turned on KELOLAND This Morning.
“They were really talking about Parkston, which is where my family is and I was like ‘uh oh,’ I’m going to have to head up there,” Wallace said.
Wallace brought her mom to her brother’s house on Main St. in Parkston. William D. Hoffman had the most damage in the family. Several large trees had fallen in his yard, but somehow none hit the house.
William’s house is home base for the family as crews worked to cut down several large trees. He said he was thankful a big one didn’t hit the house.
William woke up to the tornado siren going off in town.
“We were heading down the stairs and then my KELOLAND Storm Tracker App went off. Thank goodness,” William said. “So I knew we were to go down to the basement. It kept saying stay in the basement.”
William’s street is lined with downed trees on the side of the road. Emergency management officials say Parkston has the worst damage in Hutchinson County with full trees being uprooted.
One of William’s neighbors, Stacy Schlechter, has also spent the morning cleaning up several trees. She is thankful for the community.
“I was so excited that the city came together. There is quite a band of people that have chainsaws,” Schlechter said.
The National Weather Service said despite this being a tornado-warned storm, after talking with emergency manage, they believe the damage to be straight-line winds.
There has been some property damage reported in the town and rural areas, but officials are still assessing it. Officials also say there were a few small fires and a gas leak in Olivet. That was contained as of 12:30 p.m.