A tornado caused widespread destruction as it swept through a North Dakota RV park in Watford City. The EF-2 tornado, packing winds up to 127 mph, ripped through the recreational vehicle park overnight Monday, destroying or damaging hundreds of structures, killing an newborn and injuring dozens, some critically. Damage includes 122 structures “completely destroyed” and 199 others sustaining some form of damage.
According to officials there are 28 people injured. Nine of them are in a critical state. One of those injured was a 7-day-old infant boy, who later died from injuries, after being transferred to a hospital with advanced life support services.
Residents of Prairie View described being sent airborne in their homes by the tornado.
The boy’s death is only the fourth tornado-related death in the United States so far in 2018 and the first since April 13th. There were no tornado-related fatalities in May and June, the two most active and notorious months for tornadoes in the U.S.
The tornado struck in the overnight hours, and manufactured homes and RV trailers didn’t stand a chance against wind estimated up to 127 mph from the EF2 tornado. 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.
Here some testimonies of victims:
“My dog was with me and the next thing you knew the storm picked up my camper and slammed it on the ground. It felt like we were weightless,” resident Clifford Bowen said.
“We’re going to die. That’s what I thought. We’re going to die,” resident Krystal Lapp said. “[We felt the] house rock and shake, and felt the house go up and felt it slam and then we rolled about three times.”
“The extent of the damage here is devastating and mindboggling, with RVs utterly flattened and destroyed,”
Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and displaced by this tornado.