In the aftermath of a deadly tornado that struck in the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch, state and local officials are calling for increased safety standards for RV parks that often house oilfield workers and families, according to the Jamestown Sun.
An EF 2 tornado ripped through the Prairie View RV Park early Tuesday (July 10) killing a newborn baby and injuring more than two dozen people.
The tornado displaced 200 people and destroyed at least 120 structures, including RVs that served as temporary housing.
McKenzie County leaders are aiming to meet with state officials as early as next week to discuss what can be done to limit the number of people who live in RVs and how to make the trailer parks safer, said Planning and Zoning Director Jim Talbert.
“It takes a tragedy like this to open our eyes,” Talbert said.
Many RV parks and worker housing camps in Watford City and McKenzie County were constructed before the county had zoning ordinances. Often, they were built in a hurry to house workers during the housing shortage prompted by the oil boom.
“Everything happened so fast and furious in those years, things were overlooked,” said Karolin Jappe, McKenzie County’s emergency manager. “I’m not pointing my finger at anybody. It just happened too fast.”
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