Officials Survey Tornado Damage at RV Park
A delegation of North Dakota state officials, including Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, as well as officials from the North Dakota National Guard and the North Dakota Homeland Security, flew into Watford City to see first-hand the damage caused by the F2 tornado that destroyed Raley RV Park south of the city on Memorial Day evening.
As they viewed the remnants of the 12 to 15 campers and a dozen or so motor vehicles that had been totaled as a result of the twister and the 120 mph winds that accompanied the storm, Wrigley questioned why there were no community shelters in the vicinity of the RV park that would have provided shelter for residents.
“There are federal dollars available that would have helped provide shelters for people that need it during storms like this,” stated Wrigley. “We, the state, want to be able to offer any assistance that we can to help in the recovery and clean-up efforts.”
But according to Brent Sanford, Watford City mayor, the tornado struck so quickly that people living in the RV park had no time to react.
But still, according to Sanford, the city would not have any objections if the state required that owners of workforce housing camps, such as Raley RV Park were to be required to have shelters on site.
“It is the state’s responsibility if it wants to require shelters in these types of camps,” said Sanford. “The state is responsible for licensing and monitoring them.”
For Tony Beyda, who had been living in the RV park for about four weeks, he told Wrigley that a shelter would have saved him from some of the injuries, including a severe laceration to the scalp that required several stitches, which he sustained in the tornado.
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