- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

GARRETSON, S.D. (AP) - The absence of injuries is keeping Garretson residents upbeat as they recover from a devastating storm that damaged homes, uprooted trees, knocked out power and caused gas leaks.

The extent of the damage from the storm early Monday is still being assessed, but no one was hurt - and “that’s big,” Mayor Tim Mullin told the Argus Leader newspaper.

Wind speeds during the storm reached 100 mph. The National Weather Service doesn’t yet know if it was a tornado or straight-line winds, but warning coordination meteorologist Todd Heitkamp said it doesn’t really matter.

“Winds are damaging whether or not they’re coming from the same direction or rotating,” he said.

The winds also damaged farms in the area, including one owned by the parents of Jodi Koch

“I just went out to check on the roosters. They’re OK. They’re quite shaken up, but the barn is gone around them,” Koch told KELO-TV.

The Monday storms caused damage throughout eastern South Dakota. Strong winds of up to 122 mph also hit the Pierre-Fort Pierre region - damaging roofs, trees, power poles and grain bins, and even flipping a newly manufactured home and sending it slamming into the side of a house.

No one was hurt, but “it was pretty scary there for a while,” Tammy Deal, a co-owner of the house, told the Capital Journal.

The roof on the state Capitol was damaged, and there were reports of water damage in the building, according to Leah Svendsen, who oversees maintenance on the Capitol grounds. Several trees were uprooted at the Capitol complex and at the Governor’s Mansion.

A closed swimming pool, campground and tennis courts in Pierre were reopening Tuesday.

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