Students, volunteers help clean up school in Burke after storm

Local News

BURKE, S.D. (KELO) – Cleanup continues today in the small town of Burke after a tornado and 100 mile per hour winds tore through the town.

The storm left a devastating impact — damaging the lumber yard, community civic center, and the school.

What should be the sound of basketballs bouncing off this gym floor, is now instead the sound of volunteers cleaning up debris.

“It’s devastating is the word I would use for it,” senior Lacey Person said.

While Lacey Person should be spending her last days of summer preparing for her senior year and basketball season, she’s now picking up what’s left.

“The gym to me is the hardest part to look at just because that’s where we do everything, I’m there all the time so it’s hard to see,” Lacey Person said.

The superintendent of the Burke School District, Erik Person spoke with Senator John Thune about the damages done to the school.

Classes were supposed to start August 24th.

“We had a board meeting yesterday and we determined we are pushing the start of school to September 4th, giving us a little time to breathe and get organized,” the Burke School District superintendent, Erik Person said.

And where classes will be held is still to be determined.

“Working through plans with some local churches for some classroom space, within about a 1 block radius there’s quite a bit of space that could be used and by the time we have our school board meeting Monday night, by the end of that meeting we will have a pretty definite plan,” Erik Person said.

As students and other volunteers clean-up, they’re staying positive and looking forward to the future.

“I just think the sooner we get things cleaned up the sooner we can rebuild,” 8th grader, Laney Spencer said.

“I just hope that we can stick together through all of this and start rebuilding soon, even though I won’t be around for most of the new buildings, I hope to see better for the future,” Lacey Person said.

According to the City of Burke Facebook page, officials are asking people to be off the streets from 8:00 tonight until 7:00 tomorrow morning.

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