Riverview RVs either tipped or trapped

John Benjamin's recreational vehicle is trapped under a tree at Riverview Park. The campground sustained some damage from Monday's storm.

The toll of destruction from Monday’s storm is still being assessed Tuesday. Marshalltown’s Riverview Park was hit particularly bad with trailers tipped over and trees down everywhere.

Fallen tree limbs surrounded several campers. Luckily, there no reported injuries in the area, but one man ended up stuck shortly after the storm when a tree fell on his camper.

John Benjamin and his dog Molly found themselves stuck in the middle of the derecho Monday morning.

“I thought we were going to flip over,” Benjamin said. “It slammed me against a wall. It was pretty relentless after that.”

When he first became aware of the storm he checked his windows and started preparing for it the best he could.

Benjamin thinks a fallen tree kept his camper from flipping over.

He and his dog are from East Moline, Ill. and run on a YouTube channel called “Geezer at the Wheel.

“We travel all over the country. We’ve been everywhere,” Benjamin said. “Then we came to Marshalltown.”

After being stuck in his camper for a half hour, Benjamin opened his driver side window and removed the stick that was blocking him from getting out.

“As the storm was going on I grabbed my dog, Molly, and we went to the floor,” he said.

They laid under a table until the storm subsided.

“We weathered it out on the floor,” Benjamin said.

For now, he is stuck. His generator will not last too much longer. He’s not from the area and his only mode of transportation is his RV which is trapped under a tree.

“I’m running out of water,” Benjamin said. “I hadn’t planned on using the generator. It’s not going to be long before I’m not going to have lights and the refrigerator won’t work.”

Aside from being stuck his camper only received minor damage, including a broken rooftop window.

Overall, Riverview Park’s campgrounds are almost abandoned. Several campers are still there, but few people are staying.

Benjamin’s spirits are still high and he can laugh when he talks about the damage.

“I’m not the only one in this situation,” he said.


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