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(SD)-NWS Confirms Tornado Hit Burke, SD

By: John Axtell Posted at: 08/08/2019 11:21 PM
BURKE, S.D. (AP) - The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado that hit the small southern South Dakota town of Burke Tuesday night, causing extensive damage and injuring 2 men.

      The EF-1 tornado carrying 100 mph winds tore roofs off homes and other buildings, uprooted trees, and left the town's one school building unusable with the new school year fast approaching.

      Gov. Kristi Noem visited Burked Wednesday, called the damage "unbelievable," and promised the state's help in restoration efforts. Noem said "I know they'll be strong getting through this situation."

      Some Burke residents are asking why the community's warning siren didn't sound. Mayor Thomas Glover told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that's because officials never received notification from the National Weather Service about the possibility of a tornado.

      The community siren is sounded when officials get notification from the Weather Service or a spotter that a tornado has been seen or is imminent, but such warning never came.
     Weather Service chief meteorologist Todd Heitkamp says that although the possibility of tornadoes was mentioned in the severe thunderstorm warning for Gregory County, a tornado warning was not issued because meteorologists did not see any indications that one was coming.

      Heitkamp says the main threat to Burke was straight-line winds, adding that it's up to the affected community to decide whether to sound the alarm.


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