Rural Cell Phone Alert System warns family of dangerous tornado - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Rural Cell Phone Alert System warns family of dangerous tornado

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A tornado tore through a rural community Northwest of Hospers, Iowa Sunday night, causing an estimated $3 million in damage—but luckily, no one was injured.

That’s largely thanks to the rural cell phone alert system.

With all the wind and rain, tornado sirens from surrounding communities could not be heard out in the rural area this tornado struck. One farmer says his family wouldn’t have known danger was approaching with out a cell phone alert sent to his phone.

“We were watching a movie and it was quite loud and we heard something beeping going off—it was our cell phones telling us there was a warning out there,” said Jim Huitiak.

Huitiak’s farm saw some damage from the tornado, but he and his wife were able to make it to their basement before the damage hit.

“We saw a funnel cloud so we went in the basement and then we came out and we noticed we had parts missing. Part of the shed roof got taken off and it landed against the house over there,” said Huitiak.

After the storm, their friends and family are just grateful they had time to find shelter and stay safe.

“Tornadoes are so massively powerful and there’s nothing that can stand in their way, it’s just obliterated. The pieces of wood, and the boards from the machine shed, they’re just in splinters,” said neighbor Adri Smit.

The entire community has come together to help all the farmers who were in the path of this tornado.

“Many hands make light work, so the more hands the easier the work and of course having chain saws and man power is hugely important,” said Smit.

The community will still be cleaning up after the storm for many weeks, but people are just glad everyone made it through the tornado unharmed.

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