Storms Strike Midwest Campgrounds

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May 23, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Weekend storms storms struck three campgrounds in the Midwest

Deer Trail Park on Highway Z in Nekoosa, Wis., was significantly damaged Sunday night (May 22), said Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert said.

There were about 13 adults at the campground when the storm hit, Sharon Rose, one of the campground owners, told the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune. According to the sheriff's department, there were minor injuries reported at the campground but no casualties. Those injured were transported to the hospital.

Rose had just left to go shopping at Wal-Mart in Wisconsin Rapids at the time.

"My brother called me and said you don't want to come back here," Rose said.

She was thankful the storm struck early Sunday evening and not earlier in the weekend.

"Most people were gone," Rose said. "We probably had maybe 60 seasonal campers. Luckily, it wasn't Memorial Day, because we would have had a lot of fatalities."

Those at the campground sought shelter in the basement of the game room and in the concrete block shelters, Rose said.

Meanwhile, a tornado hit a Kansas campground Saturday night (May 21), but no one was injured, Associated Press reported.

Along with the tornado that hit nearby Reading, Kan., killing one person and destroying at least 20 homes, the National Weather Service confirmed that one touched down in Topeka and northeast of the city near Lake Perry, where damage was reported at a nearby campground, said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. The campground was not identified

An elderly couple was trapped inside a mobile home until emergency responders could clear the debris. The couple was not hurt.

Gov. Sam Brownback declared an emergency for 16 counties, including the one surrounding Reading, Watson said. The declaration allows state resources to be used in recovery and cleanup and paves the way for federal assistance if needed. Watson said a state team had been sent to Reading to help local officials with recovery work.

In Indiana, storms hit Pla-Mor Campground on U.S. 6 east of near Bremen in the northern part of the state, leaving two campers destroyed and another flipped on its side, WNDU-TV, South Bend, reported.

The owners of the campers had heard reports of severe weather entering the area on their weather radio, and had left just one hour before the storm hit the campsite.

Campground owners also had called on campers and notified them of the impending storm.

Pla-Mor campground houses close to 100 seasonal RVs, only three of which were damaged in the storm.

Campers say that straight-line winds caused by the storm were the cause for the damage.

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