BURKE, S.D. — Republican Gov. Kristi Noem says the damage is "unbelievable" after a severe storm tore through a small southern South Dakota town Tuesday night.
According to a Wednesday, Aug. 7, news release from Noem's office, 100 mph winds and hail blew through Burke late Tuesday, tearing roofs from buildings, knocking down power lines and uprooting trees. Two residents were injured, both of whom are now in stable condition.
Noem and her team visited the community of approximately 600 on Wednesday, where she said during a Facebook Live video that the storm "has absolutely devastated this community."
This week's storm is not isolated. Noem said Gregory County, where Burke is located, experienced five natural disasters this year alone. Gregory County is one of 48 counties in the state that have been granted a presidential disaster declaration and emergency funds after historic springtime storms and floods.
"What we've gone through this year in South Dakota is the largest disaster we've seen in history," Noem said.
Noem said Wednesday that the community's response to the storm is "special," with community members helping to clean up the damage.
"It's remarkable to see what South Dakotans can do when they go through very difficult times," she said.