Storms rage from South Dakota through Wahpeton, east into Minnesota lakes country

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Fargo, ND) -- South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is confirming one death after severe storms hit several areas of the state.

About 50 National Guard members were activated Thursday night to assist in areas with extensive damage. Dozens of storm-related injuries have been reported, some critical. Noem visited Castlewood yesterday and is planning other stops in Hamlin, Deuel, and Codington Counties.

Over 25-thousand people are without power across southeastern South Dakota. Severe storms hit the area Thursday, with high winds causing downed power lines and uprooted trees. Crews throughout the region are assessing damage and working to restore service.  Some areas have damage to the power infrastructure and transmission systems.

The Mayor of Castlewood says the city has suffered extensive damage after being hit by a severe storm. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning while the storm moved through, but a touch down hasn't been confirmed. Castlewood School was significantly damaged after a direct hit from high winds. Officials are recommending that people not travel in the city.

Meanwhile, parts of eastern North Dakota are reporting damage after severe storms battered the upper plains. A silo was pulled down in Wahpeton, but the extent of the damage in the eastern part of the state is still being assessed. There are no initial reports of power outages or injuries.

And in Minnesota, thunderstorms with winds gusting over 80 mph caused extensive damage in Central Minnesota's Douglas County. Two semis were blown over on I-94 and an SUV driven by 24-year old Katherine Gruver of West Fargo was blown off the interstate and into the median cables. All of the crashes happened in Douglas County just after 7 p.m. Gruver and both semi drivers were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. 

Elsewhere in Alexandria and Douglas County, trees and power lines were downed, roofs were torn off and boats and campers were overturned. At least one house was extensively damaged with the roof torn off and walls collapsed. Many other homes and vehicles were also damaged.