BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — To drive through the grounds of Huset’s Speedway on Monday afternoon is to weave your way between overturned porta-potties and assorted debris.
The majority of that debris comes from the roof the 3rd-floor suite structure overlooking the racetrack.
Doug Johnson, Huset’s General Manager was at the track until around 2:00 a.m. the morning of the storm, and discussed its impact on the facility.
“It’s very extensive,” Johnson said. “The biggest thing is when [the suite structure roof] came down, it took some front stretch fence and a light pole there.”
“We’re just very fortunate that no one was here,” Johnson said, referring to employees. “We had a few people camping here, but we checked on them right away last night — and everybody was okay. We can replace structures. We’re just glad no one got hurt.”
While it is too early to get an idea of the cost of the damage to the facility, Johnson says it is clear the top level of the suite structure will need to be replaced. “We’re hoping we can maybe save the second floor and use that down the road,” he said.
“We’re going to try and move forward,” Johnson said. “We’ve got a busy schedule coming up here in the next 30 days.” There was originally a race planned for Monday night, which has now been cancelled.
Shortly after the storm passed, Johnson arrived to survey the damage. “It was still raining when we were out here doing that,” he said.
Johnson said that seeing the extent of the damage for the first time, under the speedway lights, was devastating. “It’s something that you never hope you have to go through,” he said.
While the damage is extensive, Johnson remains forward thinking, focusing on the upcoming calendar events and how they can work to make sure they’re ready to host them.
He also noted the community support that Huset’s has received, the interest evident from the constant stream of cars parading through the property to view the damage. “We’ve had a lot of people reach out to us that were willing to help with the cleanup, so that’s really encouraging,” Johnson said.