28 trees fell over in Worthing Cemetery during severe storms

Local News

WORTHING, S.D. (KELO) – Areas in KELOLAND are still cleaning up after the severe storms that blew through earlier this week. In Lincoln County, the town of Worthing felt the brunt of the harsh winds and rain. Once the storm lifted, it was then that residents saw the broad scope of the damage.

For Worthing resident Scott DeWitt, this week’s storms hit close to home.

“Oh it was raining so hard you could hardly tell what was actually going on. And then the wind came up and rain was going one way and trees are going the other,” DeWitt said.

When it cleared, things got a little more personal.

“I checked on a lot of the graves of my family members tombstones to make sure they were ok,” DeWitt said.

The Worthing Cemetery is located on the edge of town, but it was at the center of those harsh storms. 28 large trees were uprooted and fell onto several tombstones.

“So far, I don’t think we’ve suffered any damage to those. Now, there is some in the cemetery itself that have been damaged,” DeWitt said.

“I got one stone that’s over there in the northwest corner. It’s like a three-tier stone and it’s all down,” President of the Worthing Cemetery Association Lyle Devitt said.

Devitt says that no significant damage was done to any graves. Their main focus now is to remove the trees.

“They’re cutting the branches off and they’re going to haul the logs off and then they’re going to try and set stumps up and put them back and fill the holes back in,” Devitt said.

The removal process cost 5 thousand dollars. The cemetery isn’t funded by the city, so the association is asking for donations in covering costs.

“Some money’s already coming in so we thank everybody for that,” Devitt said.

Devitt says it should only take a couple more days to get them all removed…

“We’ll get it all set back up in no time. Once the trees are taken care of done, we’ll take care of that,” DeVitt said.

And leave no stone unturned.

“We’ll certainly get it back to looking nice again like it always has, so… that’s kind of the main goal,” DeWitt said.

If you’d like to help, you can send donations to either the Worthing Cemetery Association or Worthing City Hall. The addresses are found on their Facebook page.

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