Back to our arrival – The Coleman camper that was in the spot just across from us was our first clue that something was wrong – something had happened here. The camper had the whole back end crushed – just gaping open. My first thought was why would the camp allow that to stay here, then I saw that people were sitting out behind it – strange. Brady talked to another neighbor who explained that in a storm Saturday night, a tree had fallen on the trailer – the occupants had gotten out ok, shortly before the big crush came they had woken up and were debating if they should get out – at least they were not in their bed where the tree landed.
Straight line winds with 80-90 mph downburst snapped or uprooted numerous trees, which fell on campers, tents and vehicles, injuring seven people as well as causing one fatality and destroying one campground across the lake. We found a news report from Longview about the storm. – here is a helicopter news report of the damage. This picture is of an RV cut in half by the tree that fell across it.
A spokesman for the Corp of Engineers told local news on Monday. “We know that there were several vehicles and RVs that were heavily damaged, so we’ve got electric lines, water lines, picnic tables, paving, and timber around the sites … we’re assessing the damage to each one of them…. there’s still a lot of sites that we can’t even physically get to because there’s so many trees down. We have to crawl through the branches to make an assessment of those sites. We’re talking trees, like four feet across down on the ground, so it’s like an obstacle course trying to get to it. And there’s a lot of it we can’t even see underneath it to assess the damage.”
In our area, the only physical damage visible was the one trailer which the people cleaned up and tied up as best as they could with the back end crushed and pulled it away. So glad that they were not hurt.
On the other hand, we had a nice day, took a drive into Jefferson, had lunch and looked around town. One of the attractions we had found was a riverboat tour along the Big Cyprus Bayou which uses boats that were formerly the “LaSalle Adventure” boats from Six Flags over Texas. However, when we went by to check it out – they are closed for probably several weeks due to high water. Sad. Jefferson is a quaint little town with several museums and antique shops – which we did not visit, but with full tummies and a quick stop for some needed supplies and fuel, we checked out another campground on our way back to our camp. Naps all around and supper out at the picnic table. A very good day.