Three EF-2 tornadoes confirmed in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - UPDATED 4:25 p.m.

National Weather Service in Sioux Falls confirmed three EF-2 tornadoes touched down during a round of severe weather Tuesday night that prompted an emergency declaration in the City of Sioux Falls.

The Western Mall, along 41st Street, the Avera Heart Hospital campus and a southeastern Sioux Falls neighborhood saw significant damage following Tuesday's night storms, National Weather Service said Wednesday.

The first tornado, with wind speeds of 125 mph, was confirmed in the area of West 41st Street at 11:28 p.m. It was only on the ground for one minute, uprooting trees and damaging several buildings including damage to the Plaza 41 shopping center. Best Buy and Advanced Auto Parts also saw heavy damage.

A second tornado touched down at 11:24 p.m. near the Avera Heart Hospital Campus. The National Weather Service said eight people were injured and winds speeds reached 130 mph. The tornado traveled just over half a mile and was on the ground for roughly one minute.

Avera officials said Wednesday morning, the hospital never stopped treating emergencies Tuesday night. In the midst of the storm, the hospital saved a patient's life after they were experiencing a severe cardiac event. Avera Behavioral Health received was successfully evacuated before it was heavily damaged in the storm.

Across town, a third tornado also touched down at 11:24 p.m. between 69th Street and 85th Street, near Journey Elementary School. The National Weather Service said the tornado reached winds of 125 mph and traveled nearly a mile.

Lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service Todd Heitkamp says the last tornado to touch down in Sioux Falls was in October 1996. Wednesday morning during a news conference, he said much of the city was greatly impacted by the 100 mph winds.

Authorities have not reported any deaths or serious injuries, but dozens of buildings have been damaged or destroyed.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was in Sioux Falls Wednesday afternoon to assess the damage.

--------------------------------------------------

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls has confirmed a third tornado touched down in southern Sioux Falls Tuesday night.

Weather officials said the EF-2 tornado had winds of 125 mph. Significant straight-line wind damage was reported downstream of this tornado.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado touched down between 69th Street and 85th Street.

----------------------------------------------------

A second tornado has been confirmed in Sioux Falls from Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said another EF-2 tornado impacted the Avera Sports Dome at 1601 West 44th Place in Sioux Falls.

Officials said the tornado reached winds up to 130 mph. Eight injuries have been attributed to this tornado.

The storm completely deflated the dome.

----------------------------------------------------

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says preliminary tornado survey along 41st Street indicates a brief EF-2 tornado touchdown with winds estimated at 125 mph.

Lead meteorologist Todd Heitkamp says the last tornado to touch down in Sioux Falls was in October 1996. Wednesday morning during a news conference, he said much of the city was greatly impacted by the 100 mph winds.

A preliminary survey of the damage along 41st Street from Kiwanis Avenue to Western Avenue has been completed. Officials say additional surveys will be conducted throughout the day.

Authorities say it does not appear any deaths or serious injuries, but dozens of buildings have been damaged or destroyed. Mayor Paul TenHaken says there have been a few minor injuries reported, but none were serious.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is expected to be in Sioux Falls later today to assess the damage. Based on early assessments, officials said the area that received the greatest impact from the overnight storm is bordered by 26th Street on the north, 85th Street on the south, Marion Road on the west, and Minnesota Avenue on the east.

The Red Cross will open a shelter for people displaced by the storm. The shelter is located at the armory on the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, 100 North Lyons Boulevard.

The city's emergency operations center has been operational since 1 a.m., Wednesday. City officials said efforts are currently focused on damage assessment and response.