BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A powerful tornado leaves a New Jersey couple dead and their children injured after making landfall Thursday on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
One-hundred mile-per-hour winds ripped through the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort in Cheriton, Virginia — not far from Ocean City.
A Maryland couple who was there shares their dramatic story with Rick Ritter.
The couple says the tornado only lasted minutes, but the campground looked like a bomb went off. The couple caught parts of the storm and the aftermath on camera.
Video shows only a glimpse of what David and Kathy Moreland call the most terrifying ordeal of their lives.
Thursday, the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado ravaged through the Cherrystone Family Camping and RV Resort in Cheriton, Virginia.
Visiting from Arnold, Maryland, the Morelands were caught right in the middle.
“I said we got something coming. And then five minutes later, all hell broke loose,” David Moreland said.
Winds rocked their trailer like a boat on water. It sounded like a train passing by.
“It started rocking and then picked it up and moved it about two feet. It was so loud, you couldn’t even talk. We were yelling at each other,” said David Moreland.
The aftermath was like nothing they’ve ever seen.
“It looked like a bomb went off,” David said.
“I have never seen in my whole life as many trailers that had trees laying on them,” said Kathy.
You can now see hundreds of dents along the Moreland’s trailer from baseball-sized hail. Luckily, that’s the only damage they suffered.
But just 100 yards away from their trailer, screams of sorrow stretched out from a New Jersey family. A tree landed on the tent of a Jersey City couple, 38-year-old Lord Balatbat and his wife Lolibeth Ortega, killing both.
“The young daughter was there screaming,” said David Moreland. “I felt so bad for her. There was nothing we could do for her.”
The three children — ages 14, 12, and 7 — were among dozens injured.
“The whole family was traumatized. It was hard,” Kathy Moreland said.
Friends and family who knew them are devastated by the loss.
“They bent over backwards just to spend time with their kids,” said Kharl Ibasco, family friend.
With more than 1,300 people on the campground that morning, the Moreland’s know how lucky they are to escape without a scratch.
“Never in my life have I seen anything like this. And I never want to see it again,” said Kathy Moreland.
Family members say the couple killed in the tornado had been coming to that campground for years.
Hundreds of acres of nearby farmland were also damaged in the tornado.
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