SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Some people were hunkered down in their homes as the tornadoes approached Sioux Falls.
Others were closing up shop for the night.
In the case of several businesses at 41st and Kiwanis, a few employees were getting ready to go home when the storm hit.
“We just finished putting away our deposits and things like that,” Pizza Ranch Partner Mike Pharis said.
Mother Nature was about to deposit a tornado right through the roof of Pizza Ranch.
“As we walked to the back door, our ears popped. And I kind of turned to Cody, ‘Did you feel that?'” The next thing I knew, it was kind of like a bomb went off in our dining room,” Pharis said.
The two headed for the walk-in cooler.
Angela Kennecke: Did you get to the cooler?
Pharis: We didn’t get to the cooler. It was kind of done before we could even get there. Then it was eerie calm for a little bit. Then we started getting rain coming through the ceiling.
Two employees next door at the Original Pancake House were prepping for this morning’s breakfast crowd, but the twister had other plans.
“Thank goodness one of them said, let’s get in the cooler. So they go tin the cooler as the storm went over. It just so happens both of their cars were damaged,” Janet Eining, owner of The Original Pancake House said.
One of their cars ended up on top of the other. Owner Janet Eining showed us the damage inside the restaurant.
“Water is coming through the roof. We have a backroom, east dining room–that’s all under water; ceiling’s gone. It’s pretty much just shut us down,” Eining said.
Pharis says the timing of this storm is especially difficult. Just the day before they took this video of the newly expanded “Fun Zone,” they were about to unveil to the public.
“We spent over $200,000 on new arcade games. Just finished setting up some. (We) just needed to put a couple of swipers on some of the last ones today. And unfortunately the whole roof collapsed on all of those games. Those are going to be a total loss,” Pharis said.
Both businesses say they will start working on reopening as soon as possible.
“I’m just really glad that nobody got hurt. All this is replaceable. We’re very lucky,” Eining said.
“It just seems like everyone over here in Plaza 41 ended up fine; a little silver lining in all of this,” Pharis sai
The businesses KELOLAND News talked with at Plaza 41 tell us they are well insured and will be able to keep on employees while they are temporarily shut down.