October 4, 2007

Severe Weather Hits Lake Show-Me, Scotland County Fairgrounds

A group of hunters from Burlington, IA, got more than they expected on a trip to Lake Show-Me in Memphis when severe weather swept through the campgrounds at the lake, destroying a pair of campers at the site.

The storm, either straight-line winds or possibly a tornado, traveled northeast from there, damaging power poles and destroying several trees before hitting the Scotland County Fairgrounds where an outbuilding was destroyed and roof damage was sustained on numerous other buildings at the site.

Several trees were downed at the campsite at Lake Show-Me, but the mass of limbs did not compare to the carnage of the demolished camper.

Remarkably one occupant escaped the wreckage unharmed. John Phillips and his dog were sleeping in the camper when the storm hit the small unit and hurled it several yards, collapsing the structure along the way.

I guess Im pretty lucky to got out of there unhurt, Phillips said. Of course you look at what it did to the camper and all of our stuff and luck isnt the word that comes to mind.

The storm tore a bass boat off a trailer parked near the camper and threw it into the wreckage of the camper and a large tree that fell near the site. The boat was owned by Ansel Shannon of Burlington.

A second camper, owned by Joe Corey of Ferguson, MO, was turned upside down by the storm and came to rest on its roof against a nearby power pole.

We will probably be out for a few days finding our stuff scattered all over the campground, Corey said.

Numerous trees were downed along the access road to the fairgrounds. The entry gate building from the race track pits area was totally destroyed and strewn across the grounds. The roofs of the cattle barn, the art hall and the sheep barn were also damaged.

A second storm system crossed the region at approximately 6:30 p.m. forcing the National Weather Service (NWS) to activate the Scotland County Fire Department and other volunteer storm spotters in attempts to provide advanced warning for any future weather issues.

A NWS representative stated the organization would have investigators in Scotland County on October 3rd to review the storm damage.

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