Weather Forecast


Wessington Springs tornado fund nears $150,000

WESSINGTON SPRINGS (AP) — More than 60 residents of Wessington Springs have applied for help from a relief fund set up in the wake of a tornado that hit the southeastern South Dakota community a month ago.

Donations are nearing the $150,000 mark, and a committee has been set up to dole out the money, KELO-TV reported. Other committees have formed to handle other types of help, such as emotional and spiritual.

"I know that South Dakota and surrounding states, they're good people — we come from a great state and come from a great community," said Ryan Jensen, who is overseeing a committee that will help distribute non-financial resources such as more than 125 donated trees and offers for wall repair services.

The June 18 tornado with peak winds of 127 mph destroyed 15 homes and damaged another 44, displacing nearly 80 people.

"When we got home we could tell the roof was gone, the sides were bowed out, and our shed was inside the house," said Wanda Tapken, who rode out the storm in the county courthouse.

People who want to contribute to the relief fund can donate at any American Bank and Trust in South Dakota, or mail it to the bank in Wessington Springs.

The address is P.O. Box 469, Wessington Springs, South Dakota, 57382. Checks should be made out to "City WS Tornado Relief."