- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

FORT THOMPSON, S.D. (AP) - One man died and mobile homes were destroyed late Friday when a storm brought rain and straight-line winds blowing at more than 80 mph through two Native American reservations in central South Dakota.

The American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter Saturday morning in Fort Thompson to help people from both the Crow Creek and Lower Brule reservations.

Richard Smith, the executive director for Red Cross in western South Dakota, said several mobile homes in Fort Thompson were destroyed after they were blown over and windows were broken all over town.

Deb Attaki told KDLT-TV that her cousin, 61-year-old Wilfred Wind Sr., was sleeping on his couch in Fort Thompson when strong winds toppled his trailer home, killing him.

Acting Lower Brule Chairman Kevin Wright told the Associated Press his community also sustained considerable damage. Wright said the roof of the courthouse, casino and several other buildings were severely damaged.

“It was pulled off like a sardine can,” he said of the courthouse roof. “We haven’t seen a storm like this for a long time.”

Wright said he emailed a Bureau of Indian Affairs official to notify him of the damage and the fact that many homes on the reservation were still without power Saturday.

Aaron Dorn, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said winds flipped campers and snapped fully grown trees in half. NWS received reports of wind speeds between 80 and 90 mph with the strongest winds recorded at 93 mph in Okaton.

“It was a wall of destruction,” Dorn told the Argus Leader.

Smith, of the Red Cross, said several people were injured in Fort Thompson but he didn’t know how badly. Wright said on Lower Brule he took one woman with a cut on her face to the hospital.

Red Cross workers set up a shelter at the Lode Star Casino and Hotel and are providing food and support. Smith said six people stayed in the shelter overnight but said more came in Saturday.

Elsewhere, Smith said campers that people had parked along the Missouri River had blown over.

Tony Mangan, a spokesman with the state Department of Public safety, said emergency management personnel and the state highway patrol were responding to Fort Thompson on Saturday.

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