Tornado decimates RV park killing a newborn in Watford City, North Dakota


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.

A truck crushed by debris sits in front of a destroyed RV trailer in the Prairie View RV Park in Watford City after the tornado. By Jamie Kelly / Williston Herald

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.

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Debris after EF-2 tornado swept through RV park in Watford City, North Dakota. Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP
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damage included 122 structures “completely destroyed” and 199 others sustaining some form of damage. Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP
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The tornado was an EF2 and created widespread damage at the Prairie View RV Park in Watford City, North Dakota. Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP

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.

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Just after the tornado. Scary! Chris Edwardson via Inforum
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The base of one fifth-wheel camper sits perched atop the base of another after a storm destroyed much of the Prairie View RV Park in Watford City on Tuesday morning. By Jamie Kelly / Williston Herald

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.

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A trailer with its roof and walls caved in at the storm-damaged Prairie View RV Park in Watford City. By Jamie Kelly / Williston Herald

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.

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A row of trucks, some of them crushed by debris, sit parked in the storm-damaged Prairie View RV Park on Tuesday. By Jamie Kelly / Williston Herald

The extent of the damage here is devastating and mindboggling, with RVs utterly flattened and destroyed,

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Location of Watford City in North Dakota.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and displaced by this tornado.

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North Dakota RV park residents didn’t hear warning sirens
One-week-old baby dies from injuries in devastating ND RV park tornado





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