Campers' Lives Spared in Severe Storm
Vehicles and RVs were crushed by falling trees, and yet miraculously no lives were lost as a windstorm swept through the Sheridan Meadows campgrounds near Republic, Wash., during camp meeting in July.
Campers from across the Northwest had gathered for the Northeast Washington Camp Meeting, held July 17–21, at the Sheridan Meadows Retreat Center. Campers say people were relaxing and visiting Friday afternoon when the storm hit. Suddenly there was heavy wind, and trees started falling. The main meeting tent lifted but did not blow away. One smaller tent used for children's meetings was demolished.
Four vehicles were reported totaled, and others sustained damage. Even with the destruction, only one injury required medical attention. A man suffered a broken leg when the RV he was in was crushed by a falling tree.
In spite of the storm damage, the camp meeting continued Friday night as planned with the featured speaker, John Bradshaw.
"Angels were certainly on duty," says Bob Folkenberg Jr., Upper Columbia Conference president. "We're so thankful for God's protection and that no one was severely injured."
According to emergency response personnel in the region, the storm knocked down a number of trees and power lines in Ferry County. As a result, county commissioners declared a local state of emergency and requested the support of the Washington State Emergency Management Division.