RV park resident recalls climbing out of storm wreckage

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Todd Berkesch said he was watching TV when a gust of wind turned his life and home upside down Monday night at Santa Maria RV Park in Gautier.

"I was just scared, I was pinned up in there," Berkesch said. "The trailer wasn't even shaking or anything and all of a sudden it just flipped. It was that quick."

Luckily, Berkesch was able to crawl out of his camper through a hole.

"I hurt my foot, something pinned my foot," Berkesch said. "I'm okay, I think so. I'm going to go get it checked out later."

But first Berkesch wanted to save everything he could from his camper and try to get his truck fixed. The strong winds knocked out the back window.

"I'm going to try to get me another place to live. I work right down the road at Huntington Ingalls, so I will try and get me another place to stay in," Berkesch said.

Carrie Guy and Wes Riley also spent the day trying to salvage what they could.

"We came in here and this right here was sitting up straight and this was laid up that way, the table across the camper," Guy said, describing the mess inside the camper that was on its side.

The destroyed camper belongs to Riley's daughter, Kayla, who is getting ready to be deployed to Afghanistan this weekend.

"She's worried, of course, because she just bought it, brand new," Riley said. "I guess you can say she lost something she just bought, her home for right now. But she's got insurance, thank goodness, and that will help take care of it."

Riley hopes a new camper will be waiting for her when she comes returns next year from her tour.

"I'm glad she wasn't in it," Riley said.

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