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Spring storm damages trees, buildings

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HARTINGTON — A spring storm wreaked havoc here late Thursday afternoon, knocking out power, blowing over grain bins, snapping off trees and dismantling roofs around the region.

The skies turned from light gray to pitch black as the storms rolled in.

The National Weather Service reported straight winds at up to 80 miles per hour hit southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska.

The storm is blamed for at least three deaths in South Dakota, including Yankton native Annie Lanning, a school teacher in Sioux Falls, S.D., who died when a tree fell on her car.

Several trees in and around Hartington were uprooted in the storm, while other trees were damaged when high winds ripped branches from their trunks. Shingles could be seen scattered through several yards. A portion of the roof at Pearson Motor Company on Highway 84 on the southern edge of Hartington was also damaged. The storm prompted the Cedar County Sheriff's Department to blow the tornado siren to warn area residents to seek shelter.