South Dakota: Tornado recovery in Delmont

Posted on June 29, 2015 by Lutheran Disaster Response
Megan Brandsrud

​A tornado tore through Delmont, S.D, around 10:45 a.m. on May 10. Delmont is a rural town in south central South Dakota with 140 housing units. Of those 140 homes, 48 were destroyed or severely damaged and 12 received significant damage. These numbers represent 43 percent of the housing units in Delmont.

In addition to the damage to homes, Delmont’s fire station and water tower were destroyed, which caused the stored water to flood neighboring homes. The town’s electrical substation was damaged, which cut off power to the town, and damaged home propane tanks caused a public safety hazard that led emergency officials to evacuate the town of approximately 300 people for several days.

After the tornado hit, our affiliate, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (LSSSD), was on the scene organizing volunteers, addressing immediate household needs, providing crisis counseling and case management, and assisting in planning for long-term recovery efforts.

In coordination with Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Lutheran Disaster Response has provided an initial $50,000 to assist with case management and construction management in Delmont.

Delmont tornado -LSSSD

A home in Delmont, S.D., that was damaged by a tornado that hit the community on May 10. Credit: LSSSD

Case Management

A case manager will assist people whose homes and/or livelihoods were affected by the tornado. The case manager will assist individuals in filing claims and applying for available financial assistance, in addition to providing emotional support and counseling referrals to people who are dealing with trauma and loss due to the disaster.

Construction Management

Construction managers will be contracted to evaluate homes that were affected to determine which units are suitable for volunteer rebuilding work. The construction managers will supervise volunteer construction crews, manage cleanup, and assist case managers in evaluating unmet needs.

As the community of Delmont begins its rebuilding phase, Lutheran Disaster Response will be there to work with the people who were affected through every step of the recovery process.  Please hold the community of Delmont in your prayers. If you would like to support Lutheran Disaster Response’s work in Delmont, please visit the Lutheran Disaster Response giving page.

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