Tornado hits South Dakota hospital: ‘All are safe and sound’

Tornado hits South Dakota hospital: ‘All are safe and sound’

12.9.2019

Tornado hits South Dakota hospital: ‘All are safe and sound’

When the warning sounded shortly before midnight that a tornado could be approaching, the clock turned into a stopwatch for staff members working the night shift at a behavioral health center at a Sioux Falls hospital.

The twister with wind speeds of up to 130 mph also roared over the system’s heart hospital after a man was brought in having a heart attack. Doctors and nurses continued operating on the man — and saved his life — as the storm blew on, according to the CEO of Avera Heart Hospital, Nick Gibbs.

“There are big chunks of metal hanging from the building; broken glass everywhere; tree limbs and trash; cars that have been picked up and moved with their windows blown out,” Sundet said. “When I walked into the building there was water pouring in through the ceiling. I have never seen anything like it.”

The National Weather Service has determined that three EF-2 tornadoes struck the city overnight, lead meteorologist Todd Heitkamp said Wednesday.

On top of it all, there was a snafu with the city’s outdoor siren warning system. Most of the sirens sounded in southeastern Sioux Falls, where the most serious damage occurred, but they were not activated in the rest of the city. Mayor Paul TenHaken cited a “miscommunication” among staff and vowed it would never happen again.

Other damaged businesses included an Advanced Auto Parts store where a wall collapsed. Kohl’s and Best Buy lost part of their roofs and Pizza Ranch suffered heavy damage.

The storm system appears to have spared the rest of the state. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety received reports of flooding in Hutchinson and Brule counties, but no assistance was requested.

Read more: Manila Bulletin News

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