Downed trees, power outages and a delayed parade were the result of a strong thunderstorm that blew through the Mitchell area early on Saturday morning.
The storm resulted in a pair of severe thunderstorm warnings before 8:30 a.m. in Davison County, with winds gusting to 70 mph, while heavy rains moved through the area. The 70 mph wind gust reading was made at 6:57 a.m. at the Mitchell Municipal Airport, according to the National Weather Service.
Tree damage was reported throughout the city, with branches strewn along Mitchell's streets. Some of the heaviest damage was located in the southeast part of the city near Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and Hitchcock Park. Along Fifth Avenue, two segments of the street were closed off, as city crews worked to clean up large branches that had fallen. At Hitchcock Park, a large tree near the Mitchell Aquatic Center was uprooted, while another was essentially snapped in half near the outdoor bandshell.
NorthWestern Energy reported power outages in Mitchell, along with Letcher, Mount Vernon, Stickney, Corsica, Geddes, and Menno.
The weather resulted in delaying events taking place in the community on Saturday. The 49th annual Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo parade was delayed to noon Saturday, after originally being scheduled for 10:30 a.m. The Mitchell Department of Public Safety reported that there was downed power lines near the parade route, making the move of the parade's start a safety precaution. The parade's theme was Space Cowboys, a nod to the Apollo 11 space mission landing on the moon, 50 years ago today on July 20, 1969.
Also delayed was the start time for Saturday's games at the South Dakota Class A youth state baseball tournament at the Cadwell Sports Complex, with 60 teams from ages 9 to 12 competing this weekend. Those games started at noon, following the weather and field cleanup.
Around the area, heavy damage to the grain elevator in Canistota was reported shortly after 7:30 a.m. Saturday, along with minor building damage. Wind gusts were measured at 75 mph near Forestburg, 74 mph near Alexandria, 73 mph near Montrose and Plankinton between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. A light standard at the Alexandria baseball field was also reported knocked over.
In response to the storm, the city of Mitchell said it will have a special collection of tree branches from July 22-26, coinciding with regular garbage collection dates. Branches will be collected if placed in piles at curbside. The collection will not take place in alleys. City residents will also be able to dump pickup-sized loads at the Mitchell Regional Landfill free of charge. Hours for the landfill during cleanup week are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Tuesday nights until 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 27 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tree branches can also be dropped off at the city's compost site at 1405 W. Eighth Ave from 8 a.m. to dusk daily.