Sharron Keil has lived at the campground for about half the year, so when the EF-1 tornado touched down killing a mother and father and injuring dozens of her friends, she knew these were moment she would never forget.
“It was heartbreaking. This was the worst of anything we’ve been through,” says Keil.
Today she is feeling hopeful as campers are coming back to Cherrystone.
“We are ready to have our little community back together again,” says Keil.
The campground’s owner says 150 campers are already here and they are expecting another 200 by tomorrow.
He says the re-opening wouldn’t have happened so soon if the community hadn’t taken action to help clean up during the last several days.
“You think ‘Wow! This place is gorgeous. It looks great, but then as you are looking around you see tree stumps and you can most follow the path of the tornado through the park looking through the trees and you can see what has happened here,” she says.
The owner hopes that these tree stumps will stand as a permanent memorial for the two lives that were lost that day.
He says it’s not only the memory of loss or tragedy that will forever be on his mind, but the memory of what he saw in the days following of this Eastern Shore community coming together as one.