GLOUCESTER COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — Years of volunteer work and $50,000 dollars in fundraising came toppling down during last night’s storm. Now, the Mantua VFW has to figure out what to do next.
This was not how it was supposed to go.READ MORE: Tolls Increasing Sunday On 8 Delaware River Crossings Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey
“You cry a little and then try to figure out how to get it back,” said Mike Kerr, commander of Mantua VFW.
The Mantua VFW, years into planning and fundraising for a community pavilion, saw its roof blown over by Sunday’s strong storm, taking with it countless hours and years of volunteer work.
“To see everything they did come crashing down it punches you in the stomach,” Kerr said.
The very top of the pavilion was 16-feet high so when the wind pushed it over it took almost everything with it. The next step is to try and figure out which pieces are salvageable.
“The plates were ripped right out of the bolts. The bolts and washers are still in the concrete. And I don’t know what the wind was like last night but it just ripped it right out of there,” Kerr said.READ MORE: Man Dies After Being Shot Four Times In West Oak Lane, Philadelphia Police Say
Kerr shared with us this picture taken Sunday before the storm as volunteers were readying to begin the final phase of the build– putting on the roof.
The National Weather Service tells us winds in the Delaware Valley, including South Jersey, reached 60 to 70 miles per hour at one point.
The roof off of a Neptune, New Jersey motel was also ripped off.
Kerr says a community of veterans has vowed to rebuild, they just need to figure out how.
“I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was. You look at a picture, you see the structure there. But you don’t register it’s on the ground until you get here,” said Kerr.MORE NEWS: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
The VFW has started a GoFundMe page for anyone interested in donating.