2011-05-19 / Front Page

Tornado Hits Barn South of Giddings

Ralph Bamsch’s barn received substantial damage from a tornado last Thursday morning. Ralph Bamsch’s barn received substantial damage from a tornado last Thursday morning. Last Thursday, about 9:30 a.m., a tornado touched down in south Lee County at 3309 S. US Hwy. 77. A large barn owned by Ralph Bamsch suffered substantial damage by the funnel.

At that same time, Mary and Bobby Ross, owners of Ross’s South Forty RV Park located south of Giddings on Hwy. 77, were enjoying the much needed rain when their phone began to ring off the hook. At that same time, Bobby, who was standing on their back porch, heard a loud noise, not unlike the passing of a loud train.

Members of their church, friends from work and others were calling the couple because they had heard on the police scanner that a tornado had been spotted and had hit their RV park.

Mary said, “All I could do was tell them, ‘No, there hasn’t been a tornado here,’ but the calls were so numerous, we figured something must have happened pretty close by.”

It wasn’t long after that they learned that a tornado had struck a barn on one of their neighbor’s property owned by Ralph Bamsch, just ΒΌ mile down the road from the Rosses.

Mary said that in addition to the numerous phone calls, DPS started pulling into their property and an ambulance also came to the park, having been dispatched to that area once the report of the tornado was made.

She said, “Actually, it was a blessing, for many reasons, that it didn’t hit us. We had a big camping club at the park that included about 20 RV’s worth over $500,000 each and 60 people. It could have been devastating to our guests as well as to us. Plus, we were thrilled to see how quickly our emergency responders were on the scene. We had no sooner received the first phone call of a concerned friend when DPS drove up our drive and, shortly after that, an ambulance pulled in. Their quick response was very reassuring to us. Thankfully, no one was injured and the only damage we know of was Mr. Bamsch’s barn.”

With the tornado came much needed rain. Mary said they had 4.5” that day, while there were reports of over 5” in Lexington.

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