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Justin Iburg's mobile home sits on the corner of South Rowley Street and West Douglas Avenue on Sunday, after suffering major damage from Saturday evening's severe thunderstorm. (Justin Harned/For The Daily Republic)
Justin Iburg's mobile home sits on the corner of South Rowley Street and West Douglas Avenue on Sunday, after suffering major damage from Saturday evening's severe thunderstorm. (Justin Harned/For The Daily Republic)

Storm smashes homes, vehicles

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

A storm system swept through eastern South Dakota over the weekend bringing destructive winds and dumping more than 2 inches of rain on Mitchell.

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Mitchell received 1.82 inches of rain during Saturday night's severe thunderstorm and 82 hundredths in a separate storm late Friday night into early Saturday morning, for a total of 2.64 inches over the weekend. Gusts were reported to reach as high as 65 mph, according to Tim Masters, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Chance Patterson was in the living room of his mobile home on South Rowley with his girlfriend and her baby when he heard a crash, he said. After looking out the window, he saw debris flying toward his mobile home that smashed the three front windows and tossed his scooter on top of his car, smashing the back window and trunk. Another vehicle sustained major damages, as well as Justin Iburg's mobile home on the corner of South Rowley and West Douglas Avenue.

Iburg said he purchased the mobile home a month ago and doesn't have insurance. He said he found out about his mobile home late Sunday afternoon. Iburg said he planned to refurbish the home and sell it, but those plans are on hold for now.

Dave Arterberry, owner of the mobile home that Patterson lives in, said he was helping Patterson install some new carpet in the home and decided to go check on his pets. Arterberry said he received a call shortly after he left from Patterson telling him how much damage the mobile home had endured.

"I am just happy and pleased that everyone is safe and no one was injured," Arterberry said. "If somebody would have been standing outside or the debris would have been over just a bit more, I don't think I would have had the front end of this trailer left."

Mitchell Police Sgt. Dave Beintema said no injuries were reported from the storm. Along with South Rowley, two power lines and four tree branches fell throughout the Mitchell area.

"Our initial concern was to make sure there were no injuries," Beintema said. "Obviously, after everything was settled down and we figured out no one was actually physically hurt, we started making arrangements for those who might be displaced."

Beintema said Patterson stayed in his house despite the damage to the front window, and another family stayed with relatives.

Other area towns also saw rainfall, and Hutchinson County dispatch reported pea-sized hail in Freeman briefly between Saturday night and Sunday morning, but no major damages as a result.

Mitchell has accumulated 14.09 inches since the new calendar year, compared to the annual average of 15.86.

"The reason why Mitchell is below normal for the year is because the winter was relatively dry," Masters said.

Rainfall has been spotty throughout the summer months and Mitchell is getting closer to the average amount for the summer. For the summer months, or since June 1, Mitchell has received 9.36 inches of rain. The amount of rainfall this summer has just surpassed the summer average of 9.06 inches.

"We had a pretty dry July," meteorologist Jen Hacker said. "Mitchell only had 1.36 for the entire month, which is 1.75 inches below normal."

However, August has nearly doubled its average rainfall with 3.81 inches; 1.99 inches of rain is the average for the month.

"With some wet months here, you're making up for what you didn't get last winter," Masters said.

In the first storm that hit Mitchell Friday night, a bulk of the rain fell between 3:20 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. The storm lasted for about an hour and 10 minutes, said Hacker. A light rain fell until about 10 a.m. in certain areas of Mitchell.

There will be a continued chance for rain going into Thursday until it starts to warm back up again, with lower- to mid-70s heading back into the 80s over Labor Day weekend, according to Jeff Chapman, meteorologist for the weather service.

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