Lives upturned after dangerous storm hits RV park - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lives upturned after dangerous storm hits RV park

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Mangled camper lands on top of SUV. Mangled camper lands on top of SUV.
Camper turned upside down after storm system passes through. Camper turned upside down after storm system passes through.
Santa Maria RV Park resident Todd Berkerch's displaced after camper damaged. Santa Maria RV Park resident Todd Berkerch's displaced after camper damaged.
Santa Maria RV Park resident Rob Quinn hugs his wife. Santa Maria RV Park resident Rob Quinn hugs his wife.
Several law enforcement agencies respond to the scene. Several law enforcement agencies respond to the scene.
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GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

A strong storm system that moved through the coast Monday night left several RVs, campers and vehicles damaged at the Santa Maria RV Park, located at 5800 Martin Bluff Road in Gautier.  

It's one of the hardest hit areas in that city with around two dozen campers or RVs damaged. Monday night, two people were hospitalized.  

"Well, they say it sounds like a freight train, but I'm gonna have to say it sounds like two freight trains because it was just deafening. It was just so loud," said Santa Maria RV Park resident Rob Quinn.

A peaceful campground turned upside down in a matter of minutes from what authorities say was either powerful straight line winds or a tornado. More than 20 people have been impacted at the Santa Maria RV Park.

Rob Quinn just started watching a movie with his wife and dog when his camper was hit.  

"I grabbed my wife, grabbed the dog, threw us on the couch. Thank God we did because the hold on the slide-in slammed in and we would have been killed," said Quinn.  

Luckily, the Quinns and their dog made it out alive with just some cuts and bruises. It was the same story for another campground resident.   

"I was standing next to the ice box in my trailer. I got up into the ice box and next thing I know the trailer was upside down," said Santa Maria RV Park resident Todd Berkerch. 

First responders quickly scoured the campground searching for anyone injured or stuck inside their homes.  

Figuring out the significance of all the damage was the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).  

"Well, we're just looking at the damages, assessing what's happened. We don't know exactly how much damage we have yet, but have at least 25 trailers so far," said MEMA Area Coordinator Carolyn Nelson. 

Red Cross volunteers were also on hand providing assistance to victims.  

"We don't know the exact household composition, so we're going to try to reach out to all the folks, who had an RV here or were residents that were affected so that we can ensure that if there any additional Red Cross assistance that we can provide with clothing or food or emergency items such as toiletries, things like that," said Red Cross South MS Chapter Executive Jay Huffstatler.  

As Red Cross and law enforcement offer assistance where needed, the victims, most of whom found temporary shelter, have a long road ahead of them.  

"We can't call anybody because we don't have our phones. They are in there somewhere. And I do have a son that lives over in D'Iberville, so we're gonna head over there as soon as I calm down a little bit," said Quinn. 

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