Foreign Campers Dodge Tornado at KOA
Two dozen kids from other countries on a 64-day tour of America spent their last stop huddled in a bathhouse at a KOA campground in Wade, N.C. during a tornado warning Wednesday (Oct. 19), NBC-17, Raleigh, N.C., reported.
The kids from Trek America were sent there after an alert was sounded.
“I defiantly screamed and made them all run to the bathroom,” explained tour leader Gillian DeBruno.
The tornado never touched down, but its dark, rotating cloud was photographed from several miles away by NBC-17 photojournalist Dan West.
“We just saw people sprint to the bathroom — followed and stayed there about twenty minutes,” said Aiden Grey who is from London where tornadoes are something he’s only seen on TV.
“They got inside here and closed all the doors,” said campground resident Tom Gorman who showed NBC-17 how the kids hid in the bathhouse. “Every door was closed with kids in each one.”
The group was right in the middle of making dinner when they got the warning.
“They’re all from other countries and I didn’t want to panic them, but I did want them to know a safety zone to go to because they are camping in tents,” said campground co-manager Nancy Dreyer.
The group has been all over the United States — from Las Vegas, to the Grand Canyon to Washington — but its members say the tornado warning was the climax of the trip.
“This has been the most dramatic part,” said Owen O’Sullivan of Ireland. “Everything else was pretty quiet.”