Gov. Daugaard tours damaged areas of Wessington Springs - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Daugaard tours damaged areas of Wessington Springs

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It's already been a little more than a week since a tornado touched down in Wessington Springs. Cleanup efforts have been ongoing.

Gov. Daugaard was in Wessington Springs the night the tornado ripped through the town. Thursday he was back to survey the progress that's been made.

He says there is a dramatic change in the look of Wessington Springs. Neighbors, volunteers and the National Guard have spent night and day cleaning up debris.   

Gov. Daugaard says when talking with Wessington Springs Mayor Melissa Mebius, she told him the city budget includes projects that now have to be put on hold. The dollars that were going to be spent on those may be needed to restore damaged areas.

"One of the things I'd like to look at with her is whether the state's water and sewer funds and also our community development block grant dollars might in some cases provide the dollars for those kinds of major municipal projects. And then it still would make dollars freed up for the city to use to restore some of the damages that they have to restore," said Gov. Daugaard.

Gov. Daugaard encourages money donations. He says the volume of donated things has almost become a burden. You can donate at American Bank and Trust and the Red Cross.

 A Wessington Springs native -- Pat Jones says he feels extremely lucky that his house only suffered minor damages, when right across the street his neighbor's house is a complete loss.

"Well it knocked out these three windows here," said Jones.

Cracked windows and crushed gutters. Jones can't believe the tornado left his house virtually untouched. He says when the tornado hit, the air pressure changed and his ears kind of popped.

When Jones walked outside, he couldn't believe what he saw.

"We came out and saw that our trees in our front yard were down and then I looked across the street and the Barbers' house was missing a wall and then looked up the street and a house was missing all together. And our neighbor to the north of us was missing their garage. And so we were running around house to house just checking on our neighbors -- make sure they were okay," said Jones.

Jones says most of his neighbors will be rebuilding in Wessington Springs.

"I just feel fortunate that our house is still standing and I feel sorry for our neighbors," said Jones.

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