Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Dozens injured after storm hits RV park in North Dakota

HRI Aerial Imaging HRI Aerial Imaging
Patty Aguilar | 12 July, 2018, 05:23

Karolin Jappe, the McKenzie County Emergency Manager, told the Associated Press that Prairie View was "an oversized RV park on steroids", a byproduct of the need for housing due to the shale oil boom in North Dakota and Watford City.

Dozens were injured in an RV park in Watford City, North Dakota, when tornado caused widespread destruction.

The tornado, which reportedly had wind speeds that reached 127 miles per hour, made landfall in Prairie View RV Park after midnight on Tuesday, wreaking havoc.

"When it went over our house it sounded just like a 757 jet engine", Schwartzenberger said.

Authorities say preliminary reports show the tornado destroyed 122 structures in an RV park. In addition to those structures, there were 79 with moderate damage and 120 with minor to no damage. "We're going to die", resident Krystal Lapp said.

"Four years ago, $42,000 was raised for tornado victims with donations coming from across North Dakota and Montana", Jappe said. They were taken to McKenzie County Hospital, with at least three being transported by aircraft and six listed in critical condition, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

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McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger said he lives on a hill overlooking the park and he didn't hear the sirens. Schwartzenberger describes the setting as a "tornado scene" and says it "devastated an entire community". I'm devastated myself at what has happened.

"We're going to die". I feel for the families'.

Residents were being allowed into the park Tuesday afternoon.

Schwartzenberger said cleanup efforts "with equipment and manpower" were in full swing Wednesday. "That is why we are giving people the whole day to go in there".

He has been staying along with dozens of others at the Watford City Civic Center where the Red Cross has established a shelter.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Lieutenant Gov. Brent Sanford both toured the destruction Tuesday. Sanford said the extent of the damage is "devastating and mindboggling, with RVs utterly flattened and destroyed". No injuries were reported.

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