The storms that happened on Tuesday night felt unreal. It's something that you never thought would actually happen.  Well, at least I never thought it could happen.

Up until 48 hours ago, I've only experienced one tornado.  In 2007, when my family was returning from a trip to Ohio, a tornado was sighted near the Illinois/Indiana border.  It happened around 5:30 PM and the sky was darker than usual.  My mom knew what was coming and told my dad to pull over.  We ended up staying at a local college campus basement for a few hours.  The difference between then and now is we saw the development of the storm.  We knew what was coming, unlike this past Tuesday.

By the time I went to bed Tuesday evening, thunderstorms were surrounding the Sioux Empire.  Suddenly I woke up a little after 11:00 PM.  My phone started buzzing with the first alert.  In my mind, I thought this storm warning would blow over like they usually do.  Then I received the flash flood warning close to 11:30 PM.  Not even a second after that warning, my power went out.  I looked outside my window, and I could not believe what was happening.  I couldn't see anything, and it looked like a hurricane on 41st Street.  Without giving it a second thought, I grabbed a few items and made my way to the basement.

Here's a little comic relief: I was calling my sister and mom to let them know what was happening.  But the crazy thing is that they didn't believe me.  My mom just thought I was overreacting.  I even told her that I wouldn't be calling at that time of night if it wasn't an emergency.  She pulled up the Sioux Falls radar and immediately started to walk me through the storm.  Knowing that my mom was there helped me relax because I was scared.  I've never experienced a storm of this magnitude on my own, so it was comforting to have her support even from over 500 miles away.

After the show on Wednesday, I decided to visit the affected areas throughout the city while providing listeners a visual of what was currently happening.  It was just devastating.  I could not believe all the trees and debris. The bright side is the city is coming together to make sure Sioux Falls is back on track.

Sioux Falls is an amazing community, and I noticed this after the historic flooding in March. The city will get back on its feet, but like the flooding, it will take time and patience.  I know it's a stressful situation, however city officials are doing everything they can to repair the damage throughout the area.  Sioux Falls is stronger in numbers, so volunteer through the 2-1-1 Helpline Center if you can or help your neighbor.  Don't lose hope.  We are going to get through this storm together.

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