HOLMES COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – People are still cleaning up after strong winds ripped through Holmes County, one of the hardest hit areas from this week’s storms.
Many roads remain closed, people are without power and a campground with dozens of children was heavily damaged.
The winds destroyed buildings, knocked trees and power lines across roadways and caused the sheriff to issue a level three emergency, ordering drivers to stay off the roads. The order was lifted Tuesday evening.
The storm did incredible damage to the Skyview Ranch Christian Camp in Millersburg where 150 people, including 84 young campers, rode out the storm.
“We’re thankful to the Lord for his protection,” said Jonathan Casbohm, executive director of Skyview Ranch Christian Camp.
They were staying in cabins and covered wagons, but camp officials say they were prepared for the incoming weather.
“We made the decision early in the evening to remove the students from the wagons for the night, so they went into normal shelters so everyone was in buildings that were untouched,” said Casbohm.
Not every building remained untouched.
One full-time employee who lives at the entrance to the camp had five trees fall on his home and several cars in his front yard were destroyed.
In all, six cars were demolished after huge trees landed on them.
About 1 a.m., some employees went out to assess the damage.
“You could not get from our entrance to the camp. We had approximately 50 trees across the lane in every which direction and then from our entrance to the camp down our main road, our township road, we had 50 to 60 trees just scattered everywhere,” said Casbohm.
Because of the severe damage, camp was canceled for the rest of the week and the dozens of young campers were taken to a nearby church to be picked up by their parents.
Volunteers and local pastors, armed with chainsaws, helped clear the debris.
Similar scenes were repeated across Holmes County.
“We’re thankful for the protection that we were given last night. We had experienced a lot of devastation. We lost a lot of things, but ultimately our staff and our campers were safe and we’re thankful for that,” said Casbohm.