Madison woman loses home, but not spirit to severe storm

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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MADISON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Like so many other South Dakotans on Thursday night, Kim Kern of Madison watched the storm roll in.

“So when we got home our neighbors were on their deck looking this direction and just watching the sky turn, and so we came in and we were doing the same thing, we were watching the sky,” she said

Little did she know, this would be the storm that takes her home.

“We just barely made it into the garage, and then the wind hit,” she said. “I just can’t believe how bad the house got, that fast. It was the windows, you could hear the rain and the hail, and the wind was blowing through.”

Kim, her daughter Kenzie, and their puppy were inside as strong winds ripped their home apart. They did everything they could to keep themselves safe.

“When it happened, it happened so fast and when I walked inside I didn’t think everything was gone and stuff. It was all caved in and stuff and there was nothing left,” said Kenzie Kern.

Nearly everything they have is now destroyed. But there’s one thing this storm couldn’t take: their spirit.

“Step by step. The mayor is over here. I have people just right and left offering to help and a place to say and clothes and that’s what we hang on to.”

Looking at the path of destruction, the storm could have taken so much more.

“Anytime you see people’s homes destroyed it goes right to your heart, no question,” said Mayor Roy Lindsay.

“We just like to believe that we’re here for a reason,” said Kern.

Kim Kerns knows that a home is more than just a foundation, windows, and doors.

Home is where the heart is, and despite the destruction, she’s facing now, her heart, will stay in Madison.

“It’s like home to us so we are not going to build anywhere else and we’re not going to go anywhere else, this is home to us,” said Kern.

She, along with so many in Madison and across the state facing a similar challenge will now work to put the pieces back together.

“Madison will get over this, yes,” said Lindsay. “We are a resilient community and as you can see and as you go through town there is a lot of people stepping up to help and that’s just how South Dakotans are. And South Dakotans who live in Madison are the same.”

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