Recovery In Delmont Starts To Take Shape

Iconic Structures Come Closer To Completion As Town Grows Around Them

DELMONT, S.D.–It’s been two years since a tornado destroyed a third of the town.

Now in the second year of recovery, iconic structures are starting to take shape.

President of the Delmont Board of Trustees Earla Strid said the town is getting used to their new normal.

“We haven’t quit, yet. We’re still going,” said Strid.

In the midst of recovery, an onion is starting to bloom.

The infamous Onion House is getting close to completion.

“The front, the south side and all the windows have been repaired and all we have left to do is that dome,” said Strid.

The Zion Lutheran Church that served as a beacon from the town was left in rubble two years ago.

Now, a church stands like Pastor Christopher Bucklew remembers it.

“We measured our town from the steeple to the water tower. I always thought about that when I went jogging into town and to see a steeple back just brings a lot of hope,” said Pastor Bucklew.

The baseball park that was ravaged is getting close to its moment of need.

Delmont Fire Chief and Development Member Elmer Goehring said work is coming for the park this June.

“[We’ll] shorten it up and make it more of a softball field but anybody can come out here and play whatever sport they want to play,” said Goehring.

A building that doesn’t even have its foundation yet, Strid said, provides just as much hope.

“We also have an individual that was not even, did not even live here that bought a lot on one of the houses that was destroyed and he’s planning on putting a house in there,” said Strid.

The Main Street scene is selling lots for new business.

Other mainstays continue to put back together what once was.

When comparing year one’s recovery to now year two, the town’s optimism has a color: green.

“Not seeing the rubble and not seeing a bare lot has got to add something to it,” said Strid.

While work continues in Delmont, residents reflect while also anxiously awaiting its completion.

“It’s always the hardest towards the end so the closer we get to the end, the longer it feels,” said Pastor Bucklew.

“It’s been a good ride. There have been bumps in the road. But what ride doesn’t have a bump in the road every once in a while?” said Strid.

The Zion Lutheran Church is scheduled to be fully completed in mid to late June.

The Onion House has a deadline for completion before December.

Volunteers plan to do work on the baseball field on June 10th.

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