Tornado tears through northwest ND town

Tornado tears through northwest ND town Click to Enlarge

Authorities say preliminary reports show 122 structures in an RV park were completely destroyed by a tornado that ripped through Watford City in northwestern North Dakota.

McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger says his onsite commander reported another 79 structures had moderate damage from the Tuesday morning twister and 120 had minor to no damage.

More than two dozen people were injured in the storm, at least three critically.

Weather Service meteorologist John Paul Martin classified the twister as an EF2, which is defined by wind speeds between 111 and 135 mph. Martin says wind speeds reached 127 mph in Watford City.

McKenzie County emergency manager Karolin Jappe says the RV park is one of the largest such facilities to spring up during the oil boom.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford were in Watford City Tuesday afternoon to survey damage. Sanford is a former Watford City mayor.


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