Displaced Downtown Residents Return Home
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
January 27, 2013 4:31 PM
Businesses weren’t the only thing affected by the power outage in downtown Sioux Falls. Many who live downtown found themselves in the dark as well.
When you reach the Security National Bank building on 9th and Main Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls, the first thing you’ll notice is a generator. When you get inside, caution tape and cables greet you in the entryway. Those who live here said it’s been like this since Friday.
"We woke up somewhere around four in the morning and realized the power had gone out, the smoke alarms were beeping, so our first reaction was, 'what is going on,” said Elizabeth Reiss, a downtown resident.
Tony and Elizabeth Reiss live on the fifth floor. They said it was a bit scary waking up to all the commotion, so they took matter into their own hands.
"We decided to evacuate ourselves from the building,” said Elizabeth.
The couple said they grabbed what they needed and left. When they got outside, they quickly learned what was going on. Police told them there had been an underground explosion.
"It was probably one of the strangest things I've ever heard,” said Tony Reiss.
Officers told them it was safe inside, so the couple returned home, and then went to work. They said they figured the power would be on by the time they came home, but they soon realized, that wasn’t the case.
"We had flashlights out so we were to try to grab what we could and then head out,” said Elizabeth.
Then for the next couple of days, they had what they call a ‘staycation.’
"Well the Holiday Inn is just a block and a half away from our apartment, so we just thought it would be convenient to go there,” Elizabeth said.
That is where they stayed until 11 Sunday morning, whey learned they could finally go home.
"(We) Had a pretty unexpected weekend, but we are hoping things are back to normal for a while,” said Elizabeth.
And with the food in their freezer still frozen, its almost like nothing ever happened.
For those who didn’t have a place to go during the power outage, the Red Cross set up cots and opened a shelter near the convention center.