Sioux Falls Tornado

A tornado hit Sioux Falls overnight causing injuries to several poeple and causing significant damage to buildings and public infrastructure.  (Photo Courtesy of Todd Epp)

The City of Sioux Falls was hit by a tornadic activity overnight and authorities are reporting that there are injuries but no fatalities.  Sioux Falls Fire Chief Brad Goodroad says that there are 37 structures that have either collapsed of have integrity issues.  8,500 customers are still without power this morning. 

The General manager of the Advanced Auto Parts store on 41st Street near the Western Mall, said no one was in his store when the storm came through. The building is still standing but the east and north walls were ripped away.

He said there was also a gas leak nearby.

At the Avera Heart Hospital off I-229 and 69th Street, the front doors were wide open and people were cleaning the lobby. 

About a block to the west of the Heart Hospital on 69th Street, a pile of twisted metal and other debris covered the road. The parking lot also had metal debris, likely from the roof, as well as downed trees and branches.

There were downed limbs on south Minnesota Avenue between 41st and 57th Streets. The neighborhood north of the Western Mall and southwest of Augustana University had many downed trees and limbs in the street.

At Best Buy at the Western Mall, the storm blew over one of their delivery trucks.

Todd Heidcamp, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls gave a briefing this morning and provided a timeline of events and also said having a nighttime tornado hit Sioux Falls is his worst nightmare scenario.

Heidcamp says that there is no way a single tornado hit Sioux Falls.  He suspects strong straight line winds and a tornado caused much of the damage.  He said his office will be out after sunrise today to begin evaluating the damage.