A handful of homes await storm cleanup in Sioux Falls

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Volunteers may be just days away from completing cleanup from the tornadoes that hit Sioux Falls two weeks ago.

Hundreds of homeowners put in a request for help from volunteers to remove tree branches and other debris from their yards following the tornadoes. On Thursday, that number stood at just 18 still awaiting help, including Al Rice.

The tornado left behind a heap of timber in Al Rice’s backyard.

“You couldn’t see, it was so high it just looked like a jungle in your backyard,” Rice said.

That jumble of jungle was an overwhelming site, at the start.

“When I first looked at that, I said, oh man! Now what,” Rice said.

Rice credits his landlord for getting the cleanup process started. But now, it’s up to volunteers from the HelpLine Center to finish the task.

“It’s a little worse than a lot of them that I’ve done. There’s a lot of heavy lifting here. But I’ve got plenty of time,” volunteer Dave Larson said.

Dave Larson is taking vacation time from work to cut and remove branches from storm-damaged yards.

“I live in Tea, so these tornadoes kind of went right over our area, it could have just as easily been our place. And the neighbors like to help,” Larson said.

Rice is grateful that he’s finally getting his backyard, back. But clearing this lot isn’t just for himself. It’s also for another member of his family.

“It’s for my dog, this is his yard,” Rice said.

“Simon” will be top dog again, when all the logs are gone.

“Once it’s done, it will be back to normal, I hope,” Rice said.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is still putting out a call for volunteers. If you have a truck or a trailer and are willing to work, call the HelpLine Center at 211.

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