SAMBURG, Tenn. (WREG)– There’s a path of major destruction in the Samburg community after a tornado ripped into northwest Tennessee and many volunteers are helping them pick up the pieces.
In several resort areas around Reelfoot Lake, the damage is overwhelming. Two people were killed and one is missing near Cypress Point Resorts in Lake County and another person was killed in Obion County.
83-year-old John Himmelheber, who is a Vietnam Veteran, said his years in combat were nothing compared to the wild ride he took when a tornado flipped his camper in Samburg, Tennessee.
“I lived in lot 7…on the highway there. It’s the one turned up on its side right now,” he said. “I was sort of upside down in a seat by the table in the camper and the table was on top of me.”
Himmelheber was rescued by residents at Roberson Camper Lots and miraculously escaped injury.
“I didn’t know it was as bad as it was till they got me out,” he said.
Prior to Friday’s tornado, there were 50 RV trailers, campers and a few houses on this lot on the banks of Reelfoot Lake. On Monday, it’s a mangled mess of metal and wood for as far as you can see.
There were a few injuries here but everyone in the community is pitching in to help and donations are already arriving by the truckload.
“I’ve seen people that these folks don’t even know…with a license plate from Crockett County…just backed up their pickup truck and unloaded coats of all sizes …brand new…for kids who can’t have a Christmas cause their homes gone,” said Sam Sinclair of Martin, Tennessee.
Katrina and Steve Greer lived in a house right by the Lake. They survived the tornado by hiding in a closet.
“We could hear the glass breaking like crazy and we could feel the movement of the house,” Katrina said. “When we were in the closet I wasn’t afraid…I felt calm…I knew we were going to be ok.”
Volunteers are picking up personal items thrown all over the property and have created a Lost and Found at the home of owner David Roberson.