Tornado Rips Missouri Campground
Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KOZL-TV, Springfield, Mo., about the tornado that struck Missouri Tuesday night.
The dangerous line of storms also tracked into Laclede County, causing damage in Lebanon and surrounding communities, some 40 miles northeast of Springfield, Mo.
Outdoor enthusiasts will know that today (March 1) is the beginning of trout season in Missouri. A big crowd of anglers was already in the area near Bennett Springs Tuesday night. Their tents and RVs were no match for severe weather.
"We came down to survey the damage and make sure it was all true," says Gary Keith, whose camper was destroyed. "It pretty much is true."
Keith and his family own several of the trailers at Castaway Campground near Lebanon — a hot spot for anglers coming to LacledeCounty for opening day of trout season.
"About 2 o'clock my wife's aunt and uncle lives down here by Lebanon and they called us, and said they went through the campground and our campers were completely destroyed."
Approximately two dozen RVs were damaged or destroyed.
In a related development, the Branson KOA Campground, located west of Branson, sustained minor damage from the same storm.
Branson KOA owner Ralph Newell reported that the power was out and there was no telephone service at the campground Wednesday morning. He said no recreational vehicles were damaged and there were no injuries at the campground, according to a news release from Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).
“We are still open for business,” Newell said. “The severe damage seems to be very localized to the Walmart Store and a few of the theaters along the Branson Strip.”