Ill winds blow down new RV park dreams –


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Folks who work to develop RV parks need a hat tip. Just finding suitable property for locating a new park is tough enough. Then the long, hard slog of getting appropriate zoning changes if required, muscling past the all-too-often neighborhood opposition. Finally a permit, and then the complex work of actually building your dream.

On July 1, a brand-new, labor of love RV park opened on Otter Tail Lake in north central Minnesota. Just three days later, nature threw a monkey wrench in the works: High winds blasted through Lakeside RV Park, destroying 12 out of the 14 RVs in the new park.

Our hearts go out to the owners of Lakeside, who’ve spent a year building their park to their grand opening. One can only imagine the excitement they felt when that first guest rolled in the gate, ready to spend a memorable and relaxing holiday weekend in the park. What they got was undoubtedly memorable, but relaxing? Anything but, when the winds blasted over rigs, and toppled trees throughout the park.

Weather service officials haven’t ruled as to whether the winds were from a tornado. At least one official tornado blasted in an area nearby, but the service has been leaning to a “straight line winds” scenario. Park owners aren’t so sure, pointing out that trees blasted down fell in different directions.

But for these intrepid folks, there’s little time available for head-scratching. It’s time to get back to work, not managing a new park, but cleaning up and rebuilding one. Thankfully, no one was injured during this storm.

We wish the folks at Lakeside RV Park all the best, and hope they’ll be back on their feet soon. And thanks to faithful reader, Doug Warnecke, for bringing this big blow (in more ways than one) to our attention.



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