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Campground cleans up after storm damage

LAKOTA, N.D.--The owners of a campground and their customers are rebuilding after Thursday's violent storm left dozens of campers and trailers strewn around their property south of Lakota. "Several campers were lost, totaled," said Bobbi Schroede...

LAKOTA, N.D.-The owners of a campground and their customers are rebuilding after Thursday's violent storm left dozens of campers and trailers strewn around their property south of Lakota.

"Several campers were lost, totaled," said Bobbi Schroeder, who owns Northern Lakeview Campground with her husband, James. "Many were toppled and twisted and thrown."

The private campground on Stump Lake rents 119 units to customers who stay on their sites for the season. Schroeder said most of the campers were RV-type trailers, and about three-fourths of them were damaged, some "thrown into fields and thrown across the road."

The storm hit around 7 a.m. and most of the campers were unoccupied as their owners usually come to campground on weekends.

"Fortunately there were no injuries," Schroeder said. "We were grateful for that."

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The wind also damaged the campground's docks and other equipment.

"Most of our docks and boat lifts and gone, our playground is gone," Schroeder said.

Schroeder said she heard reports of winds hitting 90 mph, a speed higher than what was recorded, but not impossible, said Greg Gust of the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.

Sensors near surrounding towns recorded wind speeds near 80 mph: 77 mph in Michigan, 74 mph in Crary, 72 mph in Pekin and 79 in McHenry.

"It's certainly possible there were wind speeds pushing as high as 90 mph," Gust said.

But it was not necessarily the strength of the wind that blew over so many trailers, but the duration of the gusts. Normally, high winds will produce strong gusts that last a couple of seconds, but Thursday's storm brought sustained high winds.

"In this case some of these were lasting several seconds to a minute or more," he said.

Under sustained winds that strong, trees in loose or wet soil or structures like barns or trailers that are loosely anchored will blow over. Pull-behind campers that sit on wheels are especially vulnerable.

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"They're going to tumble," Gust said.

Schroeder said many of her customers said they planned to return to the campsite, though most are waiting for insurance companies to inspect the damage.

"Many of them are just going to clean up and start over," she said. She and her husband will, too.

Despite the damage, Schroeder said she is thankful no one was hurt.

"Everything is replaceable, but people aren't."

Related Topics: WEATHER
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