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Assessments and cleanup begin after storms pummel eastern South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem was in her hometown of Castlewood on Thursday night speaking to townspeople after severe storms wreaked havoc on that community and others across eastern South Dakota.

The governor referred to the weather event in Castlewood as a tornado. There and elsewhere, winds gusting to more than 80 miles per hour uprooted trees, damaged roofs, knocked out electricity and caused other destruction.

"We've got quite a few injuries across the state, and we know we have one fatality," Noem said in a video posted to Twitter.

The governor said more information would be released Friday morning. Meanwhile, the mayor of Sioux Falls planned a press conference Friday morning to provide an update on storm damage in the state's largest city.

East River Electric Power Cooperative reported Thursday night that up to 49 of its electrical substations and six cities served by the cooperative were without power, potentially affecting thousands of people. The cooperative was also monitoring at least 18 areas with significant power line damages.

NorthWestern Energy said Thursday night that it had reports of 200 power lines down in eastern South Dakota.

24-hour peak winds May 12-13 2022.jfif
National Weather Service