South Dakota Tornado Season

South Dakota Tornado Season!!! Why in the Heck?!?

So, my good hubby-buddy is one of th-o-o-o-o-se kinds of guys. You know the type; there’s an emergency situation? Lemme’ check it out. Snowstorm? I’m putting my coat an’ hat on, now. It’s South Dakota Tornado Season? I’m on it! This time, though, it was the scariest tornado in my experience.

Before a tornado hit, all of a sudden my hubby an’ I heard the wind pick up an’ I knew it was coming… hubby would soon be stepping outside to assess the changes that were taking place. You see… he needs to be sure of what’s goin’ on; he’s checkin’ out the situation, as it were. Hubby is funny like that. Or, maybe it’s just a Man Thing; I’m not sure.

As damage went, this was pretty typical
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

Sure enough, hubby was out that door, standing in the rain an’ up by the highway to see what was happening. I’m telling you, he does not let the grass grow under his feet. If there is a crises situation, hubby is the man to learn what’s up.

Civic Center North and South ends were blown out, as well as a large portion of the east side
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

So, there stood hubby, next to the highway, lookin’ up in the sky an’ to the west. When he came inside, he told me that the whole sky was a mash of clouds, circling really fast. Huge clouds. An’ within those clouds were more clouds, also circling. The Smaller clouds, he said, were about the size of our town. As he watched this gigantic display, he said it was as if the clouds were in some kinda’ race or sump’n.

A sampling of the damage done to crops
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

The air was heavy an’ the sky was sorta’ yellowish. It had alla‘ markings of a South Dakota Tornado. So, my hubby watched… an’ continued to get soaked by the rain. I’m sure he wasn’t the least bit bothered ’bout gettin’ wet. He was, after all, in his element… inspecting a crises situation.

Part of the gym, across from the Middle School
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith
About one-third of the school. This was actually the Middle School section
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

As he watched, hubby noticed what he had been focused on; a funnel cloud. There, in the midst of the smaller cloud, was not one, but two funnel clouds, gearing up for a real joyride. An’ WHAT a joyride it was!

More of the lumber yard and building
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

Hubby continued watching ’til he thought he saw the funnel cloud sucked back up inside the huge circling cloud. It’s funny how, in the dim light of evening, trees can seem to take on shapes… or, erase them. Yup! That’s exactly what happened; trees got in the way an’ played with hubby’s eyes. They made it look as if the funnel cloud had dissipated an’ was no longer a threat. So, hubby came back into the house, satisfied that he had done all that was necessary to protect his family.

The gym was definitely having a bad day
Image: Dick & Sego Berg

It wasn’t Five. Minutes. Later. that we got a text message from our little girl, saying that her brother in law’s house had a couple of trees come through the roof… right after they went into the basement an’ closed the door! From that moment on… we were gettin’ updates. From our little girl. From friends whose houses were taking damage. From friends who had lost power. So many of the updates were sooooo bad.

View from the bottom of an uprooted tree in a friend’s yard
Image: Dick & Sego Berg

Trees were down, everywhere. The local C-Store had shattered windows. The clerk in the store was stranded, without power or, even a phone to call for help. Her phone had died an’ the windows in her van had been blown out. I’m sure she was frantic, when a friend who was driving home from work, pulled in. I suspect the clerk was out there waving down anyone going by. Fortunately, the folks in our area are in the habit of helping each other out, in many situations. Tornadoes just give us even more opportunity to help.

The Senior Citizen’s Center also took a great deal of damage, although I was not able to get a picture that my computer would allow me to upload.

Back end of the Civic Center ~ not a good day for some buildings
Image: Dick & Sego Berg

There is definitely a LOT of work still to be done. I will miss the beauty of the lumber yard that was destroyed, as it had been designed many, many years ago an’ had a charm to it that I truly enjoyed. Still, the destruction has brought out a reminder of how many good people there are in the world an’ I am glad to know that I live in an area where neighbors are more like family an’ less like the hate that has been raising its ugly head in places, lately.

The town’s water tower and one area where some of the cleanup has already been done
Image: Kenny & Wanda Smith

So, whaddya’ think? Did my good hubby-buddy do his job correctly? Was he diligent in keeping that ol‘ tornado at bay?

Personally, I think he fell down on the job. Next time he goes to stop a tornado, I think I will tell him to get a rattlesnake named Shake an’ use it for a lasso to stop that ol‘ tornado in its tracks! After all, it worked for Pecos Bill, right?

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