LEBANON — A 10-year-old girl injured during a windstorm Monday night has been upgraded from critical to serious condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Rescue Chief Samantha Cole said no additional information was available this morning. Officials could not be reached immediately to confirm the girl’s identity, but Channel 8 WMTW is reporting the 10-year-old’s name as Emily Malewitz.

The girl was one of four quadruplets camping with their parents at the Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort. The family is from Millis, Mass., according to Lebanon Rescue. Their names have not been released.

The family was inside their tent around 6 p.m. when a sudden thunderstorm toppled trees in the area. One of the trees struck the family’s minivan and then crashed onto the tent.

The three other siblings and the parents were taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H. They were treated for minor injuries and released.

Witnesses said the windstorm lasted only about two minutes and they thought it might have been a tornado because the winds were swirling.

A National Weather Service meteorologist, John Cannon, went to the campground in Lebanon this morning to investigate. He determined the event was a thunderstorm with wind gusts of about 60 miles per hour. Another weather service meteorologist, Chris Kimble, said the storm may have felt like a tornado because of the suddenness with which it struck the area. No other reports of severe weather were called into the National Weather Service in Gray on Monday evening.

12:58 a.m.

A thunderstorm with powerful winds toppled trees and injured six campers, one of them critically, Monday night at the Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort in Lebanon.

One of the campers, a 10-year-old girl, was injured when a tree landed on her tent and pinned her.

Jason Cole, Lebanon’s assistant rescue chief, said she was in critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was having surgery late Monday night.

Cole said the other injured campers — the girl’s parents and three siblings – were taken by ambulance to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H., where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

“The witnesses said it was crystal clear sunlight. Then it got dark all of a sudden. They said tree limbs were blowing everywhere and then they said they saw a funnel-like wind come through,” Cole said.

“People described it as, everything was spinning.”

The storm struck around 6 p.m. at the campground on the Salmon Falls River.

The campground’s owner, John Hastings, said the Flat Rock Bridge Family Resort has 350 campsites for tents, cabins and trailers. About 120 were occupied Monday night.

“Thank God it wasn’t a Saturday night,” he said, because then the campground would have been full.

“It was scary because the storm lasted about two minutes,” Hastings said.

“It stopped as quickly as it came.”

Hastings said rain started to blow sideways when the storm hit.

High winds uprooted canopies, blew chairs around and knocked down a dozen trees, most of which were quite large.

Cole said the Lebanon Rescue Department was contacted by the campground at 5:56 p.m.

“There is a lot of tree damage,” Cole said. “We went from campsite to campsite to make sure everyone was safe.”

Cole said the girl, one of four quadruplets who were in the tent, was pinned under the tree for about 10 minutes.

The tree landed on the family’s minivan before hitting the tent.

The family is from Millis, Mass. Cole said he could not release their names.

Cole said he contacted the York County Emergency Management Agency, which in turn called the National Weather Service office in Gray.

Butch Roberts, a hydrometeorological technician with the weather service, said radar tracked a thunderstorm moving through Lebanon around 6 p.m., but didn’t show anything unusual.

Roberts said the National Weather Service might send someone to Lebanon today to investigate whether the storm was a microburst or even a tornado.

“I can’t really speculate, but in a campground situation, you usually have a lot of trees,” Roberts said. “All it takes is the right kind of wind” to cause considerable damage.

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]