SALEM, S.D. (KELO) — Over a month after the derecho, the clean up process is still underway.
While much of the debris is gone in the Salem area, there is still plenty of clean up to be done. Farmers have been working to clean up farm sites while also planting and tending for their fields and livestock.
Drew Peterson is still repairing damaged equipment and cleaning up debris from buildings and shields following the derecho last month.
“We’ve moved enough just to get some equipment out, get some tools. Like for instance I had to change the tires on my sprayer this last week, and some of it was buried, some of those fender parts and things like that, but we got it out,” said Peterson.
Cleaning up has been a community effort.
“We had a lot of good neighbors and friends that came over to help. We are kind of all in the same boat, but we had a good crew and we all kind of knew what we needed to do,” said Matt Eichacker, farmer.
Farmers are also having to figure out how to run their farms without many of the buildings and bins they normally use.
“For instance, I ran my sprayer out of this facility, but we don’t have a place to store the chemicals safely right now. So I can get my water here thankfully, but I’ve got to go to another site to get the chemical,” said Peterson.
There were some concerns with crops emerging after the storm, but Peterson is thankful that his crops survived.
“Our corn that we did have planted did emerge and one of the reasons why is because we did get some timely rains every time the ground was crusted and we were concerned about emergence, it rained a little bit and it softened that soil and allowed it to get through,” said Peterson.
Ready to clean up the debris and see the farms rebuilt.
“We were just joking, we are not even going to recognize each other’s farms in another year because nothing is going to look the same,” he said. “I mean in a little while everything is going to be pretty bare, in then in a year from now hopefully everything is new and upright and maybe it’s the same paint color that it was before, maybe not but it will look a little bit different.”
Farmers are hoping to have a majority of the clean up done by next month, and begin rebuilding bins in time for harvest. They are also hoping to get shops rebuilt in the next year.