- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

HERMOSA, S.D. (AP) - A tornado that damaged homes and other buildings near the southwestern South Dakota community of Hermosa had estimated wind speeds of up to 125 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency has rated the twister an EF2 on the enhanced Fujita scale. An EF2 or higher rating is considered a significant tornado.

The twister touched down in a wooded area about 4:30 p.m. Monday, 3 miles northwest of Hermosa, and moved on the ground to the northwest for about 12 minutes. The tornado that was as wide as two football fields at its maximum size covered about 7 ½ miles, snapping power poles along state Highway 79 and passing through a rural subdivision.

No injuries were reported, but several homes and outbuildings were damaged. Chris Menken told the Rapid City Journal that the storm also flipped his camper, and another homeowner reported a damaged boat. Two families were displaced, according to KEVN-TV.

Chris and Becky Lowe must rebuild the home they had just finished constructing in the area.

“You don’t know where to start,” Becky Lowe told the Rapid City Journal. “Everything is a mess. Where do you begin?”

The American Red Cross was helping victims.

“We have been just going down to just kind of meet some of their basic needs (and) make sure they have got a safe place to go,” Red Cross regional director Richard Smith told KEVN. “They need help. It’s time to help.”

Four tornados touched down in northern South Dakota on Tuesday afternoon, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, the Argus Leader newspaper reported. Minor street flooding was reported in Aberdeen, which got more than half an inch of rain, according to The American News.


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