WAPAKONETA, Ohio (WDTN) — Clean-up continues one week after six tornadoes touched down in the Miami Valley.
Wapakoneta was one of the hardest hit areas. Several businesses are still cleaning up the mess left behind, including the Venture Out Resorts campground.
Lynn Lahey has been camping at Venture Out Resorts since 2018. She is from Michigan, and loves coming to the campground every year.
“It’s really the best, the workers and everything. I just love it,” Lahey said.
Lahey was actually in town when the tornado hit. She was supposed to take her camper back up to Michigan on April 1st, but she decided to stay off site the night before. She said that decision probably saved her life. Her camper was destroyed by an EF1 tornado.
“It hurt pretty good, it was supposed to be my forever camper…but obviously it’s not,” Lahey said.
Venture Out Resorts was hit pretty hard by the tornado. Seven people staying at the campground were hurt that night, including Lindsey Schill.
Schill, her parents, and her two kids had just gotten to the camp Friday evening for a spring break trip. She said they set a few things up before getting some rest.
“My mom was in bed and my dad heard her his phone go off and it said high winds. That’s all it said. So he got up and started watching the news. At about 12:30 a.m., he told my mom to get up and get dressed. Well, right after that happened, we were flipping over,” Schill said.
Schill and her kids went flying.
“I went through a door frame and hit my ribs on the doorframe. I thought I broke my back,” Schill explained.
Schill said they were able to crawl out of a window, but they had to cut a hole in the camper to help her mom get out. Her kids and her dad are ok; they have some scrapes and bruises. She said she and her mom got the worst of the injuries.
“I have two broken ribs and my mom has a broken shoulder. We’re the only two in the whole campground that ended up with broken bones,” Schill said.
The rest of the people who were injured are also doing ok. April Holmes, the Personnel Development Manager for Venture Out Resorts, said several campers and buildings were also destroyed.
“That’s our main building, the roof was torn off. We have some campers damaged, our maintenance building was damaged and then some personal vehicles. Overall, better than it could have been for sure. We will probably lose some buildings,” Holmes explained.
Holmes said the staff has been working non-stop to get the resort ready to welcome campers back again. She said it will take a while to get back to normal, and some amenities may stay closed for the summer season, but they plan to rebuild bigger and better.
“There is no fear that we won’t be able to open back up to our members and brand new members as they choose to come visit us,” Holmes said.
Repairs continue throughout the rest of Wapakoneta and Auglaize County, too. The Ohio Greenhouse Company has not begun clean-up yet, but Mayor Steve Henderson said they do plan to rebuild the massive greenhouse. All of the power poles have also been fixed and power has been restored across the county.
Mayor Henderson said he is proud of the way the community has come together to help each other through such a difficult time.
“There was a lot of destruction and a lot of hard work that was done, and many volunteers through group efforts. We’re back a week later having this conversation. We’re in a better position today than we were last Monday, that’s for sure,” Henderson said.
Venture Out Resorts is beginning to take reservations again. They are looking for volunteers to help clean-up the camp on Saturday, April 15, 2023. To learn how you can help, click here.