Tornadoes Strike Sioux Falls
The evening of Tuesday September 10th, well into the early morning hours, heavy winds and rains pounded the city, along with three confirmed tornado touch downs in the city.
We chatted for a bit with local meteorologist Phil Shrek to learn a few more details. While it’s been eighteen years since a tornado has touched down in the city (2001), it’s been 40 years since a tornado caused the destruction to the city these storms did. All three of the confirmed touchdowns were EF-2 tornadoes.
The city woke up to a shocking amount of destruction, primarily located on the west side of town. The majority of businesses affected being located near or on 41st street. Much of the road is currently not accessible and it’s uncertain how long the clean up effort will take.
Avera Health Services was one of the most impacted in the storm, destroying and displacing the majority of the Behavior Health Services building and its patients, and damaging much of the exterior of the Heart Center building. Avera surgeons had been in the middle of a procedure when the tornado struck, and continued the surgery to ensure the successful care of the patient on the operating table.
Several tornado sirens did not go off, failing to alert residents of the danger headed towards the city. Mayor Paul TenHaken has stated that this was a result of human error.
Amidst the destruction city officials, business owners, and community members joined forces to ensure support, communication and clean up following the storms.
For those looking to help, a list of people and buisnesses still looking for assistance and resources can be found through Facebook’s Crisis Response feature here.