In the days following a deadly EF-2 tornado in Watford City, Red Cross officials have repeatedly praised the efforts of the community to help those affected by the storm.

On Friday, the Red Cross announced that everyone who used its emergency shelter had found either temporary or permanent housing — something that often takes far longer.

“A recovery that can take weeks, has been done in a matter of days,” said Western North Dakota Chapter Executive Director Rob Stotz. “It truly shows the generosity and compassion of this community that’s come together to support their own.”

The tornado, which hit the Prairie View RV Park and had winds as strong as 127 mph, destroyed or damaged hundreds of trailers, campers and mobile homes, injured 28 and killed a 6-day-old infant.

The emergency shelter, which was located in the Watford City Civic Center, was set to close at the end of the day Friday.

Since the tornado hit early Tuesday morning, the Red Cross and community partners have provided 94 overnight shelter stays, served 750 meals, and distributed 1,531 snacks and bottles of water.

Twenty-four Red Cross disaster workers were deployed to Watford City this week.

Even though the shelter is closed, Red Cross help is still available. Anyone affected by the tornado who is in need of Red Cross assistance, including disaster mental health support, can contact Regional Recovery Manager Katie Webster at

Arnegard police, 10 1/2 Club donate to Watford City tornado recovery

The 10 ½ Club and the Arnegard Police Department raised a total of $2,550 to go to those affected by Tuesday’s deadly EF-2 tornado in Watford City.

The donation, which was deposited in an account at Cornerstone Bank set up for tornado relief, was the first of several efforts planned in the community, which is 7 miles away from Watford City.

On Friday, the Arnegard Lions Club’s weekly “Burgers in the Park” event at Nelson Park was planning to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the relief account.

On Tuesday morning, both members of the Arnegard Police Department and 14 members of the Arnegard Fire Department responded to the scene of the tornado, which struck the Prairie View RV Park in Watford City.

As of Friday afternoon, a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family of Blake Maguire, the baby who died from injuries caused by the storm, had raised $24,636 of its $40,000 goal. According to the site, 440 people had donated to the campaign since it was launched Tuesday.

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