Relief efforts begin following Wessington Springs tornado - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Relief efforts begin following Wessington Springs tornado

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South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard held a press conference together with Wessington Springs Mayor Melissa Mebius, Jerauld County Sheriff Jason Weber and Jerauld County State's Attorney Dedrich Koch to detail some of the information following Wednesday's tornado.

Koch says a total of ten Wessington Springs businesses have been damaged, five extensively and three were totaled. In addition, 43 homes were damaged and 23 additional are now unlivable.

As the storm approached, Koch says tornado sirens went off for 30 minutes prior to the tornado touching down. People were paying attention the sirens and took cover. Had they not, this would have been a different story. However there were a few minor injuries.

Electric companies will come in from Miller, Plankinton and Groton to help with the downed power lines. Crews hope to restore power in the northwest and west part of town by the end of the day, Thursday.

People in the community will have a trailer available for frozen foods. A number of dump trucks will also be on-hand for cleanup.

Counseling services will be made available for anyone who needs them, including first responders and children. If you're seeking those services, contact city hall. 

The Governor has activated 172 soldiers with the South Dakota National Guard to assist with relief.

America Bank and Trust in addition to the Red Cross has donated a number of meals for people in the community. Dinner will be served Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at the 4-H Ag building in town. 

Mayor Mebius and Governor Daugaard repeatedly thanked all the volunteer fire firefighters who were on-scene immediately to get people trapped out of their homes. 

The community will be in need of volunteers but city leaders will not be allowing anyone in from outside the community until Saturday -- AT THE EARLIEST.

Stick with KSFY News as we continue our coverage of the Wessington Springs tornado. 

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