Crews working to restore power in Brookings

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Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:31 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As residents continue to clean up from Thursday’s storm, many could be looking at another evening without power. As of early Friday afternoon, the entire community of Brookings remained without power.

Brooking City Manager Paul Briseno says that they hope to have power restored Friday evening, however, people shouldn’t count on that, and need to be prepared to be without power through the night.

A dark wall cloud left widespread destruction in Brookings.

Gary Bailey and his wife Michelle were just visiting town when the storm hit.

“It was crazy how it went from weather looking good to just terrible in a matter of minutes,” Michelle Bailey said.

They were staying at Sexauer Park, in their RV.

Thankfully, they were here to see family and escaped the campground just in time to seek shelter at her house.

“We left here, it wasn’t even raining, she lives less than a block down the road, by the time we got there it was pitch black, stuff was flying around, it was crazy,” Gary Bailey said.

Being Florida natives, they’re used to some bad weather. But Thursday night rivaled anything they’ve experienced.

“It was scary.”

“Yeah, it was some of the worst weather we’ve been in, I’ve been in through a couple of hurricanes, but you have warning, they’ll tell you a week in advance, here, this just happened within a matter of minutes.”

Throughout town, trees ripped from the ground. Some fell on cars and homes.

Pioneer Park, where the annual Brookings Arts Festival is held, took much of the brunt.

Perhaps the biggest issue though is the lack of power.

“It’s definitely a concern of all of our citizens, we all have freezers full of food,” Mayor Ope Niemeyer said.

While some key infrastructure has generators, much of the community is in the dark.

The city’s busiest intersections remain without functioning traffic lights.

City officials are asking people to be patient. But they’re thankful, that no serious injuries or deaths have been reported in their community.

“Before the weekend is over we’ll have everything pretty close to taken care of,” Niemeyer said.

While crews continue to work, those here are staying positive.

“Together as Brookings, we’ll recover from this,” Brooking City Manager Paul Briseno said.

City officials are asking residents to conserve water. This is so the city’s tanks have enough in case of any further emergencies.

In the meantime, Brookings and Brookings County residents are asked to call (605) 692-2811 if they need any help with cleanup or are displaced.

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