SALEM, S.D (KELO) — The town of Salem is still reeling from the effects of the derecho that struck back in May. A nursing home that was severely damaged has announced it is permanently closing its doors as a result.
It has been 5 months since Salem’s nursing home was destroyed by a derecho. The storm broke windows, ripped the roof away and required residents to evacuate the building.
Since then, the building has yet to be repaired. Now the management team has announced that the building will remain permanently closed with no plans to re-open.
“I’m not really surprised to be honest. There was so much damage to it that I didn’t think they would actually rebuild it,” said Michelle Barnhouse, Owner of The Homestead.
Barnhouse, says she will miss the regulars that worked at the nursing home that used to come into her restaurant.
“Some of them were traveling nurses so they don’t come in anymore. You get to know your regulars really well,” Barnhouse said.
While the news of the closure was not surprising to many.
“It’s very upsetting,” Diane Merrigan said.
Diane Merrigan has lived in the area for 50 years. She says her thoughts go to the 30 residents that had to relocate.
“They were here and this was their home, this was where they lived and then have to go 40-80 miles away and know no one,” Merrigan said.
Merrigan says the closure has separated families who had relatives living in the home.
“I have to set up a date, I have to set up a time in order to go see them, and can’t see them as often as I could like to,” Merrigan said.
Avantara Salem has been working to permanently relocate residents to other locations in South Dakota.