Updated: Storm Kills One, Injures Several at Maryland Camp - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: Storm Kills One, Injures Several at Maryland Camp

Posted: Updated:
The incident happened in the Fort Roller portion of the camp. (Photo: CBS) The incident happened in the Fort Roller portion of the camp. (Photo: CBS)
MANCHESTER, Md. (AP)- The director of a Maryland summer camp where a violent storm knocked down several trees, killing one child and injuring several others, said Wednesday that he is proud of how his staff handled the situation.
   
Jon Bisset said staff members at River Valley Ranch camp in Manchester followed protocol in moving children from a covered outdoor  pavilion to an enclosed building about 150 yards away.
   
Bisset said 114 children ages 7 to 12 were gathered at the pavilion when the storm approached. Staffers were able to shepherd most of the children to safety, but falling trees injured eight children and killed one boy, whose name and age have not been released.
   
"I was extremely proud of our staff for how they handled the situation," said Bisset, who described the storm as "very fast moving, very violent, very localized."
   
"Within a hundred yards of where this happene there are no trees down," he said.
   
Amy Bettwy, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area including Carroll County at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday, effective until 11 p.m. The weather service then issued two severe thunderstorm warnings that included Carroll County, and Manchester itself. The first warning was issued at 6 p.m. and encompassed the western part of the county, but its edge included Manchester, Bettwy said. The second warning was issued at 6:39 p.m. as the storm moved eastward.
   
"As it passed through Carroll County we got reports of several trees damaged and large tree branches coming down, which unfortunately resulted in several injuries at that summer camp and one fatality," Bettwy said.
   
Bettwy said the storm that hit the camp was part of a long line of severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds that moved from West Virginia through northern Maryland and into southeastern Pennsylvania.
   
"This storm essentially was a long-lived squall line that was producing straight line winds," she said, adding that wind speeds of 60 miles per hour or more were recorded in Frostburg and Baltimore County.
   
Bisset said Wednesday that the injured children were taken to four area hospitals, and that some of them remained hospitalized.
   
Selena Brewer, a spokeswoman for Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster, said five campers were brought there, and that all had either been treated and released or transferred to other facilities.
   
Elsewhere, the storm blew down two of five large tents at the Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick that had been erected in preparation for Wednesday's 150th anniversary event at the Civil War site, according to Chief Ranger Jeremy Murphy, but the event was held as scheduled.

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