Update: NWS confirms tornado touched down in Burke

BURKE, S.D. - Update 3:03 p.m. Aug. 7.

After surveying the damage from a Tuesday night storm, the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado moved through a portion of the town of Burke.

While the majority of the damage was caused by high winds, ranging from 80 to 100 mph, the National Weather Service said there were clear indications of a tornado just south of the town's fire station.

The National Weather Service rated the tornado as an EF-1 with 110 mph winds. Weather officials said the tornado touched down shortly before 10:30 p.m. and traveled a path of 3.8 miles.

Multiple structures and buildings were damaged in the storm including a lumberyard, the school building, and Burke Civic Center. Two homes with the worst damage were unoccupied at the time the storm hit.

Two people were hurt, but Burke Mayor Tom Glover said their injuries are not life-threatening. One has been transported to a Sioux Falls hospital for treatment.

Gregory County Commissioner Myron Johnson said sirens could not be activated due to a power outage caused by the storm. County officials said they declared the 4th disaster of the year Tuesday afternoon due to winter/spring flooding, just hours before the storm hit.

Governor Kristi Noem plans to visit Burke Wednesday to assess the damage and meet with local leaders.


A strong storm left two people hurt as it caused significant damage in the town of Burke in south central South Dakota.

Mayor Tom Glover tells KSFY News the storm hit the town Tuesday night. It destroyed a lumberyard, and severely damaged the school building and Burke Civic Center. A number of other buildings around town were also damaged, and several trees were downed.

"It's a mess," Glover said.

Two people were hurt, but Glover said their injuries are not life-threatening. One was being transported to a Sioux Falls hospital for treatment.

The town and surrounding area are without power Wednesday morning. Glover said the storm damaged a power substation, and crews are working on repairing it.

The Rosebud Electric Cooperative said customers in the Burke and Lucas area will be without power for much of the day Wednesday.

The Sioux Falls office of the National Weather Service tweeted it is sending a damage assessment team to Burke Wednesday morning.

It is still unclear if the damage was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds. Glover said parts of the town received extensive damage, while other parts were left relatively untouched.

Former South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton, a Burke native, established a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist in the clean up. You can find details about the fundraiser here.

If you have any photos of damage, you can submit them here.