South Dakota governor calls storm damage in Burke 'unbelievable'

Photo courtesy: KSFY
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BURKE, S.D. (KSFY) - Governor Kristi Noem visited Burke, SD after an EF1 tornado touched down and wind gusts of up to 100 mph ripped through the city Tuesday night. During the storm, two men were injured. They are expected to be okay though.

The storm damaged multiple buildings, downed power lines, and destroyed homes. Governor Noem said she has had constant communication between state and local agencies since the storm hit. She's ready to assist in any way she can, especially since this is the 5th disaster the city of Burke has had to deal with this year. She said she is doing anything she can to help them qualify for federal dollars and provide them with state funds.

Right now though, the city is focused on turning on power and clearing the road of debris. She's proud of how the city has come together during this disaster.

"You know what's been really remarkable about this community is that I don't know if I've ever seen a community come out and get so quickly organized and immediately make so much progress in the recovery so quickly," she said.

She just wants the people of Burke to hang in there because she said it's going to be a long road to recovery for them.

The city's Civic Center was destroyed, which was owned by the city and used for community events. It was used for some school events but is not essential to school operations. But the school did sustain extreme damage. Some areas won't be ready for the start of the school year and four area churches will have to be used for classrooms.