A powerful storm left two dead and caused heavy damage in South Dakota and Minnesota.
The storm moved through the Upper Midwest on Thursday evening, bringing 100-mile-per-hour (mph) winds and dust storms. Thousands of people lost power due to bad weather.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem reported one death in the state in a video posted to Facebook. The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office also reported a death at a fallen grain silo in Minnesota. Other injuries were also reported, Governor Noem said.
The National Weather Service reports wind speeds in the region exceeding 100 mph in some areas with winds regularly exceeding 50 mph and damage to buildings and vehicles.
Two homes and a school were damaged in Castlewood, South Dakota, where Governor Noem spoke last night. The area had reported a possible tornado.
In addition to rain and wind, the storm blew huge clouds of dust into the area, often severely limiting visibility for minutes.
Photos from Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city, show downed trees and power lines lining the streets.
As of Friday morning, nearly 70,000 customers were without power in South Dakota and neighboring western Minnesota, according to poweroutage.us.
The storm was probably a “derecho”, according to the National Weather Servicewhich is a broad chain of long lasting thunderstorms with high winds that can cause severe damage.
Other reports of strong winds were noted in eastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa.
There is currently no known link between the climate crisis and derechos, according to the National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration.
However, a study last year found that a warming planet could have an increasing frequency of thunderstorm conditions in many parts of the world.