Cleanup continues in Burke

Local News

BURKE, S.D. (KELO) – The cleanup is in high gear in Burke, South Dakota after a tornado shredded the town Tuesday night.

Everywhere you look in Burke Thursday, you’ll see heavy equipment like this, a skid loader, a front end loader or a truck hauling debris.

“Today we’re starting the second day of our cleanup efforts. We made some great strides yesterday, but we’re really knocking it out of the park today,” Burke Fire Chief, Joe Johnson said.

Wednesday was mostly spent clearing streets. With that accomplished, Thursday crews are moving heavy metal and other debris left by the storm.

“We’re starting to open things up and we can get at the debris. We’ve got two different efforts going, debris and trees,” Johnson said

“The REA and a local city crew are working on the electrical. That’s a priority aso, get electricity back up and running. Everybody has freezers, if we can get it up and running so all of that doesn’t get destroyed, that’s definately a plus,” Burke Mayor, Tom Glover said.

The mayor says work is going faster than expected because of the army of volunteers who showed up.

“It’s really a sight to see, they’re coming out of the woodwork. We’ve got them coming from Nebraska and Winner, Kennebec and just all over the place. We’ve had four skid loaders show up with tracks, just in the last 15 minutes.” Johnson said

“It’s hard to describe. It’s really encouraging, we’re very appreciative,” Glover said.

If you do volunteer in Burke, officals ask that you sign in at the fire department so they can keep track of where crews are.

Friday the plan is to start raking and picking up the smaller debris.

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