Park Owner Recounts 30 Seconds of Terror
Lester Twarowski is the owner of the Village Green Family Campground in Brimfield, Mass., where a woman was killed during Wednesday's (June 1) storm.
He survived and described seeing an enormous debris-filled cloud moving toward the facility when he looked out the window shortly before 5 p.m., the Boston Globe reported
Moments later, he was hustling into the basement of his home. Joining him were his mother, his daughter, and several people who had come in from off the street, including a young man and his infant child.
"We got them all inside, and we all cried," Twarowski said. "We all hugged."
He said the cloud, which was about a half-mile wide, wreaked havoc on the campground for about 30 seconds.
"This cloud appeared and there was stuff flying in it," Twarowski said. "There was debris by the building. If the building wasn't there, we would have been dead."
He said the storm killed a woman who was living in a trailer with her husband at the campground.
He said the powerful wind lifted the couple's trailer about 30 feet into the air and then crashed back down to the ground.
He said he did not know the woman's name, but knew that she was 50 years old and enjoyed walking her small dog around the campground.
Twarowski said her husband was rescued and was "clinging to life" in a hospital Thursday.
He said all 97 trailers on the campground have been destroyed, and he has suffered at least $1 million in damages. He said he does have insurance, but he does not know if it will cover all of the rebuilding costs.
Paul Levesque Jr., 46, said he was standing outside of his trailer at about 4:30 p.m. when small-sized hail began falling.
Seconds later, he said, the entire area "went black" and he ran inside his trailer, which began to shake and was lifted about 12 inches off the ground.
"Everything in my camper got thrown around and tossed around," he said.
He said that when the storm passed, he exited his trailer and began helping other people. One woman was stuck under a tree, and he worked with other campers to pull her out. She suffered a broken arm but was otherwise unscathed, he said.
Levesque, a mason, said he had just sent out more than $50,000 worth of contract proposals to sites in New York. But now, he said, with his truck and tools severely damaged, he is unsure if he will be able to work those jobs if they are awarded to him.
However, Levesque said, he is thankful that he survived.
"I thought I was dead, I didn't think I was getting out of there," he said. "God bless my grandmother, I think she was watching."