Noem visits Sioux Falls – confirms two storm-related fatalities
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Eastern South Dakota saw widespread storm damage of historical proportions last night.
That assessment from Governor Kristi Noem, who spoke at a news conference in Sioux Falls this morning.
Severe thunderstorms with embedded tornadoes raced across the state at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour.
The governor said this morning the state is “all in” on storm response.
She also reported two storm-related fatalities. Noem added that the deaths reported were people in vehicles and recommended people take shelter in future storm events.
Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead confirmed to KELO-TV there was a fatality reported just south of Colton as a husband and wife were on their way home to Wentworth. A chunk of wood went through the window of the car and 61-year-old Wendy Lape died from her injuries Friday morning.
Friends of Annie Lanning, a Lincoln High School teacher, confirmed she, too, died in the storm.
In addition to home damage, Noem said that 11 cellphone towers were damaged as a result of the storm and that is affecting cell service for many residents in eastern South Dakota.
Governor Noem says the South Dakota Department of Public Safety will be communicating with counties on damage to public infrastructure, which could lead to a request for a presidential disaster declaration.