Cherrystone campers head home shaken, but alive

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 25, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 25 at 7:11 PM

NORTHAMPTON CO. -- A Petersburg family is glad to be heading up home safely after a trip to Cherrystone Campground took a turn for the worse. 

The Hendricks' brand new camper was thrown into some pine trees after an EF-1 tornado tore through their campsite Thursday morning. 

"Those pine trees are what saved us. We were pushed up against them and didn't go anywhere," said David Hendricks.

Rudy Draper works in law enforcement in Maryland.  He was camping next to Lord Balatbat, Lolibeth Ortega and their kids.

"They were our neighbors so their music was our music, our music was their music. [Their] campfire was right beside us. It's tough. I did not know them personally, but I will remember them for the rest of my life," said Draper.

Lord and Lolibeth were killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their three children were seriously injured.

Cherrystone management tells 13News Now they will be open only for campers picking up belongings and insurance adjusters. Campground officials say plumbing and electrical issues have to be solved before they can even think about reopening to the public.

This year marks the campground's 50th anniversary. 

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