An awful night of tornadoes ripped through central South Dakota Wednesday night leaving a lot of people homeless but luckily, we have had no reports of any fatalities.

The hardest hit areas from last night's storms were Wessington Springs, Alpena and Woonsocket, northwest of Mitchell.

Wessington Springs took almost a direct hit from the storms, leveling houses and businesses. My ex-sister in law is an R.N. at Avera Weskota Hospital in Wessington Springs. She was on duty when the tornado hit. Amazingly the hospital had only a few broken windows and no patients had to be moved.

She says "What a crazy but oddly rewarding feeling to see community rally after a disaster. Everyone showed up at the hospital to help, staff and non staff. Words cannot convey any of it."

My niece's family farm is gone near Alpena. She said they were just there last weekend celebrating her parents 42nd anniversary, and now there is nothing left. Her parents thankfully were checked out at the hospital and other than a bad cut on her mom's head, they were relatively OK, though there is nothing left of their home as you can see in the photos below.

Here's a video from the Associated Press of the Alpena tornado:

 

The extreme tornado chasers from TVNWeather have been setting up shop in our region this week with the tornado outbreaks in Nebraska earlier this week and the tornadoes here in South Dakota last night. No offense to the guys, but I really hope it's time for them to move on as we don't need this kind of weather anymore. Here's a compilation video of the powerful storms that ripped the Wessington Springs, Alpena, Woonsocket area last night:

A few photos of what's left of my niece's family farm near Alpena:

Photo courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson
Photo Courtesy of Jill Larson