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In the dead of night, a storm strikes Sioux Falls at the worst possible time

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Severe Weather
In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 photo, debris litters the ground at Advance Auto Parts following severe weather in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Abigail Dollins | AP

When a line of strong thunderstorms swept through eastern South Dakota Tuesday night, meteorologists weren’t surprised. The National Storm Prediction Center had placed the region under an advanced risk for severe weather, after all. But then a suspected tornado spun up on the leading edge of the storm – surprising even veteran weather watchers. The winds whipped through the south side of the city, damaging 37 structures – including a hospital – and leaving several thousands without power.

MPR News with Kerri Miller spoke with meteorologist Sam Gabrielli, from ABC affiliate KSFY in Sioux Falls, about the unusual aspects of the storm, and how the public can better prepare for severe weather that happens when most people are sleeping.


Sam Gabrielli, meteorologist at KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota