SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People all over KELOLAND are dealing with the damage and picking up trees and branches following the second derecho this summer. It is a scene that is repeated all over the area. Winds of 70, 80, even 90 miles per hour were just too much for some trees, especially older ones.
Sections of the sidewalk are sticking up where trees were toppled. Power lines are down and being repaired. Branches came crashing down, some driving home the power of the derecho. This branch punctured the hood of a pickup and ripped off the grill. Down the street, this pickup took a branch through the windshield.
Eighty-seven-year-old Don Schmitt lives on the east side of Sioux Falls near 12th and Bahnson. He says his neighbor came over with a front end loader and took care of the bigger branches that blew down last night. Schmitt says he’s lived in the neighborhood for 60 years he and his neighbors take pride in keeping things neat. So Don decided to pick up smaller branches.
“I’ve just got some debris in the street and I wasn’t sure if the street sweepers were going to come through it’s too messy to leave in the street so I’ve been out here just to kind of clean it up so,” said Schmitt.
The street sweepers were out today, getting smaller debris off the street and transferring it to dump trucks. Luther Brack with Ashley’s landscaping was up bright and early. He says he’s done more tree clean-up than landscaping this year. A certified arborist says many of the trees that are damaged are older or diseased. He says some types of trees are more prone to damage.
“This is a silver maple you’ve back here in the background and that’s a soft maple and they break in strong winds,” said Brack.
According to Brack proper pruning and watering can help your trees survive the next storm which we know will come. After all South Dakota is ranked as the sixth most windy state in the U.S. according to the Global Wind Atlas.