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Tornado at Woodhaven Campround
Old 06-22-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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Tornado at Woodhaven Campround

Just heard on Chicago news there was a tornado touchdown with multiple casualties at Woodhaven Campground. Hoping if Imoldernu residing there right now all is ok!
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:18 PM   #2
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I thought of him too as the tv news broke in about it--hope he took cover with Mrs Imoldernu if he is at his camp this week! So scary.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:19 PM   #3
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Yes! When he described his campground I checked it out online, and wished there was something comparable in Ohio. I hope all get well soon and that the damage is limited.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:25 PM   #4
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https://twitter.com/search?q=woodhav...fault&f=images
Picture from Twitter of campground right now
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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Is there a link(video) that mentions casualties? My cousin and his wife were there this weekend. I'm not sure if they left Sunday or not. I sure hope so.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:36 PM   #6
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We thought of him immediately upon hearing the news. Hope all is well with both of them.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
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Missed us by a mile or 2. We have 2 sets of friends that have lost their homes. Maybe more. Can't tell yet.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:06 AM   #8
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Scary.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:27 AM   #9
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Hi all... Thank you for your concern. DW and I are safe, 25 miles away from Woodhaven. Here in Peru, not much of a storm... a few minutes of rain and some thunder.

As far as Woodhaven is concerned, my information at this time is the same as yours. My guess is that the roads will be closed for days. 43 miles of roads.
Hopefully, just a part of the campground, although from the reports, my section 10 (out of 29 sections)... about 400 lots, is one of the worst hit.

TV news is a funny thing. Within the first few hours of the storm, all of the Chicago TV stations, mentioned this little campground, as as side note... choosing to look at the nearby towns... of from 50 to 500 homes. Gradually the reporters decided to check a little further... deciding that there may be more than 20 or 30 trailers or tents involved. They had trouble getting their heads around a campground that would have 43 miles of roads and 6100 separate lots.

Anyway... they've been talking about about 2500 sites being occupied during the storm. My guess is more like three to five hundred at most.

I expect there will be damage, and for many, big damage... as in total destruction of mobile homes and park models, along with add-a-rooms, sheds, vehicles and watercraft. Saw a picture of a fairly new Winnabago Class A, upside down. These are not easily repaired. With severe damage, most Park models will be totaled rather than repaired. New Park models cost from $28K to as much as $100K

In a final stage black oak forest, there are tens of thousands of 150 year old oaks. On my lot alone, there are 11 oaks, with trunks 7 to 18 inches in diameter. Early reports indicate they have only cleared about a mile of the roads so far. Vehicles are not yet able to get in far enough to investigate. A two foot length of oak can weigh 200 pounds, so heavy equipment is needed to clear.

I am not optimistic that I'll get away without damage. Being close to the lake, the full face of the camper is exposed to the direction of the force of the wind. A last year storm brought down a large limb of one of my trees, destroying a five piece outdoor dining table and chair set. Took me three hours just to cut the limb into pieces.

What might have helped limit injuries was the recent installation of a $150K warning system. This allowed campers to go to safety in one of the 17 large concrete block comfort stations. A saving grace is that our electricity is all underground. Most of the other Chicagoland cities affected by the storm have overhead lines, which may take days to repair.

One thing will come from this. Woodhaven is a mystery to many people even in the nearby towns. Certainly none of the TV reporters had a clue.

Will keep you updated. I don't think we'll be let in to see the storm result for a few days... At the very least, 5 inches of rain will make the mushrooms grow, and maybe drown a few moles, along the way.

A "before pic".... will follow up with an "after"... When and if it's still there.

Thanks again for your concern.
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File Type: jpg WH fall.jpg (604.6 KB, 45 views)
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #10
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You can get updates with this Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/woodhavenlakes
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update and glad to hear you are well, even if there does turn out to be some damage.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Thanks for the update and glad to hear you are well, even if there does turn out to be some damage.
Thanks... won't know 'til Friday for sure, but there's a close up tornado damage map that shows the path missed us by about 100 yards. Current estimates (not verified) indicate that as many as 300 Mobile Homes and Park Models may have been totalled or seriously damaged. As of now, there are still sections of the 40+ miles of road that aren't even opened yet. The governor has sent in several more search and rescue groups. Those still in the campground are being asked to stay in place if they are not leaving, and not move their cars to avoid interference with search teams who are going door to door. No vehicles of any kind other than official authorized rescue are being admitted... even the press is being kept out.

The media is still very confused. Our town of Peru has 4100 homes... Woodhaven has 6100 owned lots, but the news corps seems to think it's just a little weekend getaway.

The Woodhaven Lakes Facebook page has some info, but as with any open forum, lots of confusion and guessing. Whatever the end result, the animal population will be affected. Many, many deer, raccoons, groundhogs, squirrels etc. will be displaced. A google map view of the campground shows it to be an oasis of green in a sea of farms.

If this ends up okay for us, it will be the third tornado that we've missed by a cat's whisker. And they say lightning doesn't strike twice....
edit... Weather Bureau just confirmed it as a F2 ... winds of up to 157 mph.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #13
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Glad to hear that Mr. and Mrs. Imoldernu are safe.
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:48 PM   #14
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Very glad to hear you both are safe.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:15 PM   #15
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Glad to hear that Ronstar and both Imoldernus are safe. Thanks for letting us know.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:07 PM   #16
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Thought you might want to see what tornado damage looks like in a campground. While we residents are not allowed in, it appears that the lower third of the 6100 campsites were in the path of the tornado.
For every camper or park model that you see, there are some combinations of 400sf add-a-room... up to 400sf of deck, and one or two storage sheds. It's not just a simple matter of an RV by itself.

UPDATE: First Look Inside Woodhaven Lakes
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:31 PM   #17
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imoldernu,

I was reading about the tornado damage at Woodhaven and found this Facebook group about your section 10 area.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/6563...64200/?fref=nf

People who are there are checking on lots for others who are not there and some are posting pictures.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:14 AM   #18
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imoldernu,

I was reading about the tornado damage at Woodhaven and found this Facebook group about your section 10 area.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/6563...64200/?fref=nf

People who are there are checking on lots for others who are not there and some are posting pictures.
Thank you so much. I missed that page. I think we dodged the bullet. The pics of lots nearest us look to be untouched, but places two hundred yards away are totally wiped out.. (southern part of the lake in a finger).

Still no word on when residents will be allowed access. Hopefully by this weekend. Recovery will take years. With more than a thousand oaks down or damaged, a very long process. A single 60 foot oak may take a full team of 8 workers and four vehicles, a full day to dispose of. Regrowing oaks is a non starter, as it may take 50 years to reach full size.

Since the the campground is owned and operated by the residents, the burden of overall cost will be shared, so even though individual homes may be insured, the overall cost will be very high. Millions and millions of dollars of "reserve"... wiped out in about five minutes. Interesting to see things like this happen... extraordinary costs that were not even on the horizon.

Something to think about when buying in to a Condo, or HOA. A dear friend bought into a condominium here in Illinois, only to find that a week after moving in, that each resident was assessed an $18,000 charge for repairing incorrectly installed balconies.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:42 PM   #19
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Thank you, imoldernu, for posting that pic of your lovely, tranquil lakeside property. I also hope you escaped the wrath of that storm.

The pictures posted of the damage are heart-wrenching.........especially with your added info about the age of those irreplaceable oaks, and the cost to all the members of the association.

You pose the question we all face (who are interested in an HOA or condo association). Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

If I had the chance to live in an affordable lakeside setting (like the one in your photo), I would join an association too. (Just like I decided--back in 1985-- that the view of the SF Bay was worth the risk of buying a house near the San Andreas fault.

Just how often will those earthquakes come? (or, in your case, "What are the chances that a tornado will hit MY campground one summer?")

None of us want to give up the chance for a "room with a view." Life is too short.

But we are also grateful for insurance and new $150K alarm systems.

Hang in there, Mr. and Mrs. Imoldernu;we hope you and your neighbors escaped damage.........and that the Woodhaven residents' insurers pay consistently and well.

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Old 06-26-2015, 08:02 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
You can get updates with this Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/woodhavenlakes
The facebook page has been expanded with more than 60 new pictures of the devastation.

Just a bit more on resident owned housing developments of any kind. ie. Woodhaven is owned by the residents and operated by hired management.

Several years ago, we were looking to buy a full size stick-built home in a development in Florida. It was owned by the residents. Nearly 1000 homes, built in the late '80's and early 90's. Most of the facilities had been expanded during the early years... paid for by bonds, and using what should have been reserves. At the time we were looking, it was apparent that the roads were beginning to disintegrate and the common areas were becoming overgrown.
Not too serious at that point, but longer range, a time bomb which would call for special assessments or very expensive increases in association payments.

Therein lies a warning to anyone who is planning to move into a managed community. In Florida, state law requires the issuance of a prospective... a legal document which documents the responsibilities of the owner and the resident. This is required for all communities, whether corporation owned or home owned. Often new residents are not aware of the long term ramifications of these laws, and tend to trust. Reading is a must.

.....one example.... If a resident wants to sell, he may have to go through the association, not post "for sale" signs, and have any new owner pass a security check, with final decisions to made by the association.

We are friends with some of the agents who handle our Florida Park sales/rentals. Fewer than half of new residents, ever ask for or read the prospectus.

Not all states have prospective requirements, so the devil is in the details of the multi-page contracts. Forewarned is forearmed.
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