Tornado in south-central South Dakota reportedly leaves people trapped

Tornado in south-central South Dakota reportedly leaves people trapped
Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 5:47pm

(CNN) -- A tornado was spotted Wednesday night in the Wessington Springs area of South Dakota, where people were reported trapped.

"We know there has been damage and we know that it is significant. At this point, emergency personnel are in route to the city to offer help," Tony Venhuizen, a spokesman for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, told CNN.

JoAnn Hettinger, director of patient care at Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital in south-central South Dakota, said her facility has received one patient, but is preparing for the worst.

"We've heard people are trapped in their homes here in town. Search and rescue are out trying to help law enforcement," she said.

"It really is all still happening right now. The tornado hit across the street from the hospital -- really just one block away -- and there is stuff and debris everywhere."

On Monday, rare twin tornadoes spun through Pilger, Nebraska, wiping out the business district.

As much as three-fourths of the town of 350 is gone, Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger has said. Two people died during that storm -- one a 5-year-old. The second death -- a traffic accident -- was probably weather-related, Unger said.

-- CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton and Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.

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