Posted 7/25/18 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Exactly one week after an EF2 tornado packing 127 winds hit the Prairie View RV Park, south of Watford City, county, city and state health officials gathered in Watford City to discuss what needs to be done to prevent similar catastrophes from occurring in the future.
The July 10 tornado that struck with very little advance warning resulted in the death of an infant, injured 25 other people and completely destroyed nearly 100 trailers and sent dozens more rolling like tumbleweeds.
Among the greatest concerns coming out of Tuesday’s meeting was the need to improve the emergency notification process in the event of severe weather conditions, exploring the option of additional Doppler radar coverage for western North Dakota and addressing the possible need of requiring RV and mobile home parks to have an on-site emergency shelter.
But the big question that seemed to have no easy answer was how to ensure that these parks provide a safe place for their residents to live.
“We need to sit down and talk about things and get some perspective to improve housing in western North Dakota,” stated Vawnita Best, McKenzie County commissioner during the July 17 meeting. “We need to know what we can do with our existing tool box and what makes sense for RV and mobile home parks.”
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