Storms cause damage, flooding

JEWELL – Heavy rains and winds that blasted through Hamilton County Sunday night and Monday brought down tree limbs, flooded roads and damaged farm fields.

Chief Deputy Scott McConnell with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office said that the rains brought about the closure of several flooded and damaged roads in the southeast corner of Hamilton County. Some of the gravel roads were partially washed away.

He said that crop damage had been reported in parts of the county due to hail and strong winds. The winds also brought down limbs and trees in the Randall and Jewell area. McConnell said he didn’t believe the wind damage was caused by tornado or funnel activity following Sunday’s tornado warning.

Camper damaged

At Little Wall Lake, one man was lucky to escape serious injury when a large tree limb crushed part of his camping trailer.

Ron Vekre serves as a campground host at Little Wall Lake.

“This was my home. I live right here,” he said pointing to the damaged camper.

Vekre was sitting in his recliner watching television Sunday night when a large tree limb fell on his camper.

“All I was hoping for was that I could get out the door. And I did,” he said.

When storms hit at the campground, Vekre said campers generally head to the basement of the house on the grounds. He said some go to the restrooms for shelter, but added that those structures aren’t as safe as the basement.

“A lot of people did go there for shelter. I’d go to the basement or the ditch over there,” he said.

Vekre said he was waiting for a new camper to be delivered Tuesday or Wednesday. He said there would be a lot of work ahead to transfer all of his personal belongings to his new home.

“It’s just like a home. You have all of your stuff around you,” he said.

The veteran camper said the recent storms and damage don’t discourage him from enjoying life in the great outdoors.

“I started out here in 1968 and I’ll probably die here,” he said. “No, it doesn’t turn me off of camping a bit.”