Thunderstorm knocks over camper trailer in Jemison

Published 5:31 pm Monday, June 23, 2014

No injuries were reported after an isolated thunderstorm in Jemison Friday knocked over a camper trailer at the Peach Queen Campground with three people inside.

“No one was injured, and by the time we were on the scene no one needed assistance,” Jemison Fire Department Chief John Dennis said.

Dennis said newly retired individuals from Tennessee were camping when an isolated thunderstorm hit portions of Jemison Friday night.

Officers from the Jemison Police Department also responded to the call, which occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Jemison Police Department Assistant Chief Marc McMinn said the three individuals had stopped at the campground to take a break from traveling.

“There were some pretty strong straight-line winds that came up during the storm and knocked the camper trailer on its side,” McMinn said. “The three campers inside the camper when it knocked over weren’t hurt.”

Dennis said other campers at the campground helped the three elderly individuals out of the camper trailer.

“The wind was pretty strong in certain areas during the storm on Friday,” Dennis said. “It caught that trailer just right, but by the time we pulled up everyone was fine and didn’t need any medical assistance.”

Peach Queen Campground owner Linda Dorminey said she has never seen a camper blow over at the campground.

“This was a first for us,” Dorminey said. “One of the campers noticed a funnel cloud coming up off Interstate 65 and in our security cameras, you can see the wind spinning around.”

Dorminey said the three guests had stopped to stay overnight at the campground after vacationing at the beach before they returned to Tennessee.

“They had just come back to the campground from eating dinner at a local restaurant and the storm came,” Dorminey said. “It came so fast that they didn’t have time to bring their awning in which is attached to the camper. The awning ended up acting as a sail on a sailboat and the camper just flipped over.”

Dorminey said the storm only lasted 3 minutes.

“The camper that blew over was a travel trailer that is only about 24 feet long,” Dorminey said. “It is made to be easy to pull.”