SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From downed trees to damaged roofs, people are dealing with all kinds of problems from the storms.
The stormy holiday weekend is adding up to lots of calls for the Helpline Center.
“We had kind of calmed down from the last storm and obviously it picked up again,” Helpline Center CEO Janet Kittams said.
The City of Sioux Falls is asking residents to call 211 to report storm damage, including trees that have fallen in a right-of-way along with structural damage.
“We want to gather this information so we know how to assist residents. We can determine the scope of the incident, where the issues are the worst in the city,” Sioux Falls emergency manager Regan Smith said.
Smith says the damage reports also help with long term recovery as the city works with the state and FEMA on damage assessment.
“Oftentimes people who might be elderly or disabled and they need assistance cleaning up branches in their yard, we’ll take that information down and we’ll also coordinate volunteer response,” Kittams said.
Staff at the Helpline Center have answered more than 400 calls related to the Memorial Day weekend storms in the Sioux Falls area.
“Those calls probably would’ve went into our 911 center. This helps Metro Communications handle those critical emergency calls,” Smith said.
The Helpline Center and the City of Sioux Falls have a longtime partnership.
“I think people are stressed whenever they’re hit with a disaster. They’re looking at damage to their personal property, to trees, to their yard, to their home, and they’re just concerned, so having someplace that’s easy to reach out to to ask questions to and receive assistance is just so much easier for them,” Kittams said.