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Severe storm damages camps & RVs in Black Hills. Hail damage is scary!

While most weather watchers had their eyes trained on the Gulf Coast last week, a severe thunderstorm swept through the Black Hills region in South Dakota, devastating much of the tourist mecca’s campgrounds, and leaving millions of dollars in damaged RVs and structures.

Hailstones cover a deck in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Hart Ranch Resort south of Rapid City was one of the parks hit hardest by the Thursday, August 26th storm. Hail the size of baseballs destroyed vehicle windows and bodies, as well as almost every RV skylight and vent. RV roofs also sustained significant damage.

Hart Ranch Resort Manager Tim Schnabel said the storm hit suddenly just after 7 p.m. Many RVs at the park sustained interior damage when water poured through broken vents.

The storm also ravaged the Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch near Hill City, South Dakota. Managers there reported most RVs and other vehicles sustained severe damage, as did many of the roofed structures on the campground.

“About 90% of the roofs on our structures here will need to be replaced,” said Mount Rushmore KOA Resort at Palmer Gulch Marketing Director Gwyn Wathan. He said about 80% of the vehicles on the park had broken windows, and the campgrounds huge rodeo tent had “about 100 holes in it.”

Most of the RVs parked at the popular campground, just six miles from the Mount Rushmore National Monument, sustained damage. “Most of the roof vents on units were taken out,” Wathan said.

All campgrounds in the Black Hills were back open for the business and will be full again for the Labor Day Weekend.

Note from editor: We also heard from one of our Honorary Correspondents, George Bliss, reporting that they had a severe hailstorm in Regina, Saskatchewan, on August 31. He sent us pictures of the damage to his Heartland Big Horn Fifth Wheel, including holes in the ceiling vents and shower skylight, holes in awnings, a hole in a side wheel skirt, and even damage to the (vertical) speaker grill covers. Holey hail!

##RVT1016b

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Gary Kayser
22 days ago

We were at Hart Ranch when the hail came. it destroyed our truck and trailer. It might have ended our rving for good, it depends on our insurance.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
22 days ago
Reply to  Gary Kayser

I hope your insurance covers it, Gary. Good luck! 🙂 –Diane

Donald N Wright
22 days ago

I have often wondered about an expanded metal cover for the roofs of RV’s. I bet my Airstream would of looked like a silver golfball with all those dimples.

Steve Garrett
23 days ago

We were camped at Rushmore Shadows Resort near Rockerville SD. on August 14th and got hit by a bad thunderstorm with ping pong ball and golf ball sized hail, we had holes in our roof vents along with many other RV’s. The worst part is when it hit we were on our motorcycle a half mile out from camp and got hammered badly trying to get to the campground as there was nowhere to hide so we had to power on through. No damage to the bike but a lot of knots on my head and shoulders, my wife was wearing her helmet but I failed to put mine on leaving Keystone, my bad!!

MLogan
23 days ago

We were in Custer State Park July 24, 2015 when a hail storm like above. My vent above my bathroom was broken (Rialta) and roof looked like a golf ball with lots of divots. Insurance covered damage of about $5K to repair roof. We were under trees, which blocked/reduced force of hail, but other RV’s out in the open sustained heavy damage as above. Campground host had a car tent over his vehicles and holes were punched thru with some damage to his vehicle.

Chas Pearson
22 days ago
Reply to  MLogan

Mike? (Jane’s brother?) saw your name, then the Rialta note, hope all is well and that you survived without too much damage
Chas & Jeanne Pearson from NH

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
22 days ago
Reply to  Chas Pearson

Hi, Chas. I’ve sent an email to Mike (yes), forwarding your message, in case he doesn’t see it. If he reads my email, he may reply to your comment here to let you know if he’s the Mike you’re inquiring about or not. Otherwise, he may reply to my email and I’ll pass along his message. I can forward email addresses privately, so you don’t have to post them on here. (We’re a full-service newsletter. 😆 ) Take care. 🙂 –Diane

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
22 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

I have just received an email from Mike, requesting that I send his email address to Chas and Jeanne. Done! Happy reunion, folks! Have a great day! 🙂 –Diane

MLogan
22 days ago
Reply to  Chas Pearson

Right one, yes Jane’s my sister. Only damage as stated above. Insurance paid for roof repair but I did not replace with rubber roof (too much cleaning each year) and told to reduce price when selling. Replaced vent cover at home and sold Rialta in 2016 and purchased a 2017 23D Trend.

Pat Brown
23 days ago

We were there several years ago when a storm hit. Caught many off guard, stuck on roads where hail was so thick the roads were impassible. Heavy equipment needed to plow a path to get everyone out!

tom
23 days ago

Mother Nature at work.

DEAN W BROWN
23 days ago

Wow, what a nightmare! No mention made about roof top solar panels – were they damaged or broken?

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