•Severe Weather and ‘Probable’ Tornado Cause Damage in South DakotaSIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A storm carrying at least one tornado struck South Dakota’s largest city overnight, leaving a trail of destroyed buildings, downing power lines and prompting the rapid but safe movement of dozens of patients in a hospital that was damaged by powerful winds, officials said Wednesday.No serious injuries were reported.National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Heitkamp said an EF-2 tornado that touched down in Sioux Falls with wind speeds of about 125 mph around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday caused significant damage in and around the Western Mall.Elsewhere in the city, Avera Health System hospital staff took mere minutes to move more than 100 patients to safety in one of four buildings that suffered damage.”We talk at our hospital about doing drills. I’ve got to tell you our staff was courageous,” said David Flicek, the president and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center. „We had 10 minutes to wake up 102 residents, get them to the center of the building and all are safe and sound.”Seven people suffered minor injuries from falling debris, Flicek said.Nick Gibbs, CEO of Avera Heart Hospital, said one patient had a „severe cardiac event” as the storm threatened that facility, but doctors saved his life.The storm ripped off part of the roof and caused significant damage to windows at the behavioral health building, according to Avera spokeswoman Michelle Pellman. Many vehicles in the parking lots were destroyed.The National Weather Service is examining the hospital campus to determine if it was also struck by a tornado or if the damage was inflicted by powerful straight-line winds.Mayor Paul TenHaken said officials have received no reports of deaths in the city, and that they had been „fortunate to not have any serious injuries.”At least 37 buildings collapsed or were damaged by the storm, and residents have been asked to stay away from the hardest-hit areas, Fire Chief Brad Goodread said at a news conference early Wednesday.Other damaged businesses included an Advanced Auto Parts store where a wall collapsed. Kohl’s and Best Buy lost part of their roofs and Pizza Ranch suffered heavy damage.
The Latest: 3 tornadoes confirmed in Sioux Falls
•SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Latest on the severe weather that caused widespread damage in Sioux Falls (all times local):3:45 p.m.The National Weather Service now says three tornadoes struck Sioux Falls overnight.National Weather Service lead meteorologist Todd Heitkamp in Sioux Falls tweets that he has determined three separate tornadoes struck South Dakota’s largest city late Tuesday.All three tornadoes were rated EF-2. Two had winds of about 125 mph while the third had winds of 130 mph.The twister with the fastest winds struck the Avera Health Complex on the south side of Sioux Falls. A hospital spokesman says seven patients and one person outside the hospital suffered minor injuries.The last tornado confirmed in Sioux Falls was an EF-0 that struck on June 12, 2001._11:20 a.m.The National Weather Service is confirming that at least one tornado hit the city of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, overnight.The weather service confirmed an EF-2 tornado with winds of about 125 mph hit a portion of the city. They were examining a second area where a hospital complex suffered heavy damage to see if that also was a tornado or simply straight-line winds.Mayor Paul TenHaken says officials have still received no reports of deaths or serious injury from the storm that hit around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. He says the city is fortunate.Among the stories emerging from the damage is the scramble to protect patients in several Avera Health hospitals. David Flicek, the head of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, says staff in one building had „10 minutes to wake up 102 residents” and move them to safety.He says seven people had minor injuries from falling debris._10:15 a.m.Officials say the severe weather that tore apart structures in South Dakota’s largest city appears to have spared the rest of the state.National Weather Service officials are surveying a probable tornado and straight-line winds that hit the southern part of Sioux Falls just before midnight Tuesday that caused damage to at least 37 structures. There are some reports of injuries, but no word on any fatalities.South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Mangan says his office has not received other reports of destructive weather. He says they’ve been notified about flooding in Hutchinson and Brule counties, but no assistance has been requested.