Iowa Camp Devastated by Tornado Gets New Storm Shelters

LITTLE SIOUX, Iowa – A death at a camp in Maryland Tuesday evening will have some Iowans thinking back to a similar tragedy here.

More than 100 kids were attending a Christian summer camp near Baltimore, when severe weather moved in. Camp counselors tried to get the children to a secure building but not all of them made it in time.

One child died and eight others where hurt.

Officials haven’t released the names or ages of those injured.

In Iowa, a tornado took the lives of four Boy Scout campers back in 2008 when an EF-4 tornado struck. Forty-eight people were hurt.

It’s a tragedy the camp did not want to relive. They put up two tornado shelters at the camp.

“The very first thing they do is to throw this latch and that hatch closes, you spin [the lock] around and now a tree could literally strike that going 100 miles an hour, and it’s not going to move,” camp director Mike Evano said as he demonstrated the shelter’s door.

Little Sioux Scout Ranch is a peaceful and beautiful camp. Its new welcome center is one of two FEMA approved shelters.

The camp also has two siren systems, one operated by local authorities and another controlled by camp staff.

The camp’s ranger is a trained storm spotter and the camp has text services which alerts them of changing weather conditions.

The goal is for campers to be inside a tornado shelter within five minutes of a warning.

The camp invites families of victims back once a year on the anniversary of the tornado.

There is a plaque at the camp marking the victims’ names. But the camp does not dwell on that day. They want the scout campers to learn and have a fun time.


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