The Latest: Severe storm extensively damages Sioux Falls
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The Latest: Severe storm extensively damages Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Latest on the severe weather that caused widespread damage in Sioux Falls (all times local):

5:45 a.m.

Severe weather, including a probable tornado, struck Sioux Falls leaving a trail of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.

Fire Chief Brad Goodroad said at an early morning news conference Wednesday that at least 37 structures collapsed in the city or have structural issues. There are a few reports of injuries, but no word on any fatalities.

National Weather Service lead meteorologist Todd Heitkamp in Sioux Falls says a damage survey will be done with the light of day to confirm that a tornado caused the damage. Heitkamp says the majority of the damage was likely caused by strong straight-line winds.

Among the buildings damaged are Avera Heart Hospital and an Advanced Auto Parts store. The local school district delayed the start of classes Wednesday as crews worked to clear debris from city streets. Xcel Energy’s outage map shows more than 8,000 customers without power in the area.

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5:12 a.m.

Severe weather including a tornado hit central Sioux Falls, where authorities closed streets and delayed school for two hours Wednesday as they assessed the damage.

National Weather Service Senior Forecaster Bob Oravec confirmed that a tornado touched down in the city, just before midnight Tuesday.

The twister wrecked an An Advanced Auto Parts store and caused damage at the Avera Heart Hospital, where police were letting only doctors, nurses and ambulances get in through the debris. KELO reported that an Avera spokesperson said no one was hurt at the hospital.

The Sioux Falls Police Department and Mayor Paul TenHaken are asking the public to stay at home as there is too much debris on city roads. Xcel Energy’s outage map showed more than 8,000 customers without power in the area.

The Associated Press

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