DELL RAPIDS, S.D. (KELO) — Cleanup is well underway in communities across eastern South Dakota following last week’s damaging winds.
Fiegen Tree Service in Dell Rapids hasn’t had trouble finding work this spring.
“I mean it went from a nice, busy spring like you’re always hoping and praying for to yeah, just slammed,” Fiegen Tree Service Owner Jeff Fiegen said.
Jeff Fiegen’s crew has been “slammed” since Thursday’s storm blew into town.
“We had just finished up a job, heading back to the shop and we saw this huge dust cloud with black behind it,” Fiegen said.
“One moment we’re in a dust bowl and the next minute we’re in full blackout and you have no idea what is where and where is what,” Dell Rapids resident Jodene Schultz said.
Jodene Schultz was without power for more than 48 hours after a tree fell on a power line in her backyard.
“It was ok, it’s just you kind of get used to the niceties and conveniences of a light switch or television or a microwave to make some food (laugh),” Schultz said.
In this Dell Rapids neighborhood, trees that have stood for decades tumbled down onto fences, power lines, even trucks.
“Thursday night and Friday was getting stuff off of structures, houses, cars, garage,” Fiegen said. “We’re just grabbing stuff off the yards today and putting it along the curb for the city to take,” Fiegen added.
As Fiegen finishes one job, the phone rings with another. Keeping his voice mail box clean has been a challenge.
“I kept trying to dump them off, write it down in a book, go to the next, clear the phone messages, and then eventually I wasn’t able to keep up,” Fiegen said.
Now, he’s playing catch up one tree at a time.
“A lot of stuff down, fast cleanup, working together, people helping people and that’s how awesome Dell Rapids is,” Schultz said.
Fiegen says it will take at least another week to clean up from the storm in Dell Rapids.