Campers along lakeshore wait out predicted storm

Ottawa County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the last places you want to be with heavy winds coming is a campsite.

A storm with widespread winds is expected to impact the lakeshore sometime Wednesday night.

At a packed Grand Haven State Park, campers were being told if they can’t leave, make sure they’re close to the public bathrooms since they’re the sturdiest structures on the park.

While some decided to bug out, Jason Walters and his crew are staying put.

“We’ll just pick up some of the chairs, so they don’t blow away, and basically that’s it,” Walters said. 

They’ve been through big storms at the park before, like the one a couple of years ago.

Those winds were clocked at 105 miles per hour.

“It lifted the right side of the trailer up. It blew our refrigerator down the street and a bunch of chairs. But we’re OK. We survived it,” Walters said.

The big concern is always over the next big one. Anyone who remembers the derecho of 1998 knows that.

Those straight-line winds clocked at 139 miles per hour, tossed trailers in the same state park, tore east through Spring Lake and didn’t die down until they hit Grand Rapids.

“Someone was coming around here advising us to package up, so little nervous for how it’s going to go,” Jackson Steffen said.

As Steffen and his girlfriend, visiting from the Detroit area for a few days of camping, played a game of corn hole, they’re also keeping their eye on the sky.

“Think we’re just going to clean up our stuff today, lock everything down and hope for the best,” Steffen said.

The good news for those campers who ride out the storm is it’s expected to be perfect camping weather for the next few days.

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