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Tornado damages Avera Heart Hospital

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota (KTIV)- Avera Heart Hospital, near 69th and Louise, just off of Interstate 229, was hit hard by tornadoes Tuesday night.

Glass from damaged doors and shattered windows litter the floors of the hospital.

At the Behavioral Health Hospital, about 50 patients had to be transported out due to the damage that was done.

30 of which were transported to Yankton, where the staff that was taking care of them, went with them.

“A tornado came through our campus and damaged much of our roof, and many of our windows,” said Mick Gibbs, CEO at Avera Heart Hospital

Shattered glass, torn-down signs, and light poles– the tornado had no mercy on the Avera Hospital.

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“Well over 100 windows have been broken,” said Gibbs. “And some roof damage- although not so much that we’re in jeopardy of the structural integrity of the hospital.”

But as soon as it was safe, crews got to work to board up and clean up.

“We had an incident command team that was addressing our infrastructure needs and making sure that we could get back to operations the next morning,” said Gibbs. “Teams have been up all night in preparation for what could be patient volume the next day.”

The main focus is getting the hospital back to where it needs to be for its patients.

“We’ll be back to full operation in short order,” adds Gibbs. “By the end of this week we predict that our hospital will be in full operation, and early next week our clinic will be back to full operation.”

One thing that does remain steadfast in the hearts of all who live here in Sioux Falls, is their faith.

Jennifer Lenzini

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