Still rebuilding

A year after the Derecho

While many families have yet to pick up some of the pieces the derecho storm from May 12, 2022 left strewn across their yards and fields, others are getting back to the business of rebuilding their barns or outbuildings, further repairing their homes, or planting new trees around the yard or in their groves.
Permit applications for new buildings this spring continue to come before the Moody County Zoning board. Countless beautiful old trees, barns, signs, grain bins, and other outbuildings came down in the intense dust storm. Other structures have since been rebuilt.
You may remember, the severe line of storms that passed across our region that day started in central Nebraska. As they moved north and northeast, weather officials stated that they formed into one massive storm, stirring up a haboob ahead of it (dust storm). The intense weather system carried winds more than 100 miles per hour and picked up massive amounts of dry soil from drought-stricken Nebraska and southern South Dakota along the way.
On the southern edge of Flandreau that day, Beau Severtson was trying to protect a newborn calf when the century-old barn he was in along with a neighboring barn both collapsed. Somewhat unbelievably, the two walked out unharmed.
“Once we realized everybody and all the animals came through it okay, there was a major sense of relief,” Bret Severtson told the Moody County Enterprise. “The cleanup was fairly daunting and a process in itself. We made temporary facilities to continue our spring work and were able to get that done, just taking more time and energy than usual. The family history lost was the biggest mental dagger, but we were able to maintain many parts of that in the rebuild.”
The farm’s irrigation system also rolled but they were able to repair it without much major work. Two new barns now occupy the same footprint as the old.
“That was quite the process with constant communication with insurance and contractors but something a year from now we’ll be happy having everything back to ‘normal’,” Severtson said.
The National Centers for Environmental Information stated the derecho was a billion-dollar disaster. Along with the derecho, there were 34 tornadoes in the region that day, 19 in South Dakota alone.

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