DELMONT, S.D. (KELO) – Five years ago today, the town of Delmont experienced a force of nature that changed the way residents remember their town.
Today, bells rang in Delmont, South Dakota, calling back to a day five years ago that changed their town as they knew it.
On May 10, 2015, an EF-2 tornado tore through Delmont taking with it houses and buildings, including the Zion Lutheran Church. However, in 2017, a new church building opened its doors for worship in the same spot.
“You can’t replace the old church, nothing ever will, but it sure felt good to be back in a church. We were worshipping down here at the community center. We would worship, yeah, but it felt good to be back in a church, it really did,” Terry Klumb, the church chairman said.
The original altar, baptismal font and some stained glass windows survived the tornado and are displayed proudly at the front of the new church.
“So when you walk in the church, it almost looks like our other church,” Delmont resident Lori Bueber said.
Lori Bueber was one of the residents who lost her home in the tornado.
“I ended up with everything piled on top of me, I couldn’t get out. I had been hit on the shoulder really hard and so then I just hollered. I said, ‘help me,'” Bueber said.
Two boys who were at Sunday school just down the street helped her out.
“We went to the street and I said, ‘oh I don’t even have a house anymore,’ and this 15 year-old, he put his arm around me and he said, ‘we’re not going to talk about that now, we’re just going to walk in the street.’ It was so nice,” Bueber said.
Five years on, and Bueber now has a new home in Delmont. Still, the impact of that day remains.
“When I found out it was the same day and the same date, it kind of scared me, you know, bringing everything back. But it’s okay. We’ve really come a long way. You know, we’ve got a lot of empty lots, but they’ve kept up and so I think we’re getting there,” Bueber said.
The town may look different, but Bueber says the community is as close as ever.