One year ago life changed forever

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — KELOLAND News is marking the one year anniversary of the night Sioux Falls was hit by three devastating tornadoes.

It was a life changing event for so many, including one Sioux Falls couple who lost their entire home.

One year ago, Matt Ditmanson walked us through his house or what was left after it was hit by one of the tornadoes.

“Thirty minutes before the storm came I was standing in the driveway, you know, because I love storms and am fascinated by them,” Ditmanson said.

Moments later, he said went inside to check the radar, but it was too late.

“I knew there was some danger, so I was proceeding to the basement and that’s when the house blew up around me, so I never made it to the basement,” Ditmanson said.

Somehow incredibly Ditmanson survived and so did the family dog.

His house was destroyed, but even so he felt grateful to be alive.

“As soon as I felt it was safe enough to come back upstairs, I came out and to see how bad the wreckage was and of course looked around the neighborhood to see if anyone else needed some help,” Ditmanson said.

Today, a year later, he returned to where his house once stood. He and his wife have since moved, but now a new family is currently in the process of building on their old lot.

Ditmanson says it still brings back a lot of memories and emotions.

“You really start to reflect on what’s important you know your friendships and those things, so uh you get religious really quick, I’ve always had faith, but that endorses that belief that there is a greater power and there’s a greater picture for all of us out there,” Ditmanson said.

Ditmanson says he still loves watching storms, but only now he says he has a new found respect for them.

“Hey maybe I need to take these new precautions when there are weather alerts that are out there; that’s amazing people have learned from what happened a year ago,” Ditmanson said.

Ditmanson says he’s thankful his wife was out of town that night. Incredibly, no one was killed or even seriously injured in the tornadoes.

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