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By Amy Dalrymple Forum News Service WATFORD CITY — McKenzie County Commissioners are expected to consider a county disaster declaration Tuesday, allowing county funds to be used to clean up damage from last week’s tornado, Emergency Manager Jerry Samuelson said. The tornado, which severely damaged or destroyed 15 RVs south of Watford City, will not qualify for a state or federal disaster declaration, said Homeland Security Director Greg Wilz with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services. Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency typically becomes available if there i
WATFORD CITY — In her first three weeks on the job, the new McKenzie County emergency manager visited the National Weather Service, held a Skywarn training course and met with the Red Cross. Karolin Rockvoy didn’t expect to apply what she learned so quickly, until an EF2 tornado struck an RV park south of Watford City last week. “Then we put it all to work,” Rockvoy said. McKenzie County recently expanded its emergency management and veteran services offices to two people.
By Amy Dalrymple Forum News Service MINOT — Fifteen-year-old Ainslea Oliphant had been at the Watford City RV park where her aunt and uncle live for 30 minutes when her uncle told her to get under the table. Oliphant, visiting from the Baton Rouge, La., area, spent Memorial Day in Minot, where her grandparents live.
WATFORD CITY — Tornado victims Felicia and Owen Grooms walked into their free hotel room to find bags full of toys and clothes for their 2-year-old boy. Dennis and Jennifer Socolovitch didn’t have enough money on a gift card to fully pay for new work boots and socks after Monday’s tornado, and the store gave them to Dennis for free. Desiree Spencer went to a Watford City pharmacy to replace prescriptions she lost in the tornado, and the prescriptions were replaced for free with a $150 check inside. Residents of the 15 campers destroyed by Monday night’s tornado south of Watford City had man
BISMARCK — A vehicle accident, a cow rubbing against a valve and leaking pipe connections contributed to several unrelated oil and gas spills this week in western North Dakota, the Department of Health said Thursday.
TIOGA — North Dakota’s higher education leaders got a peek into the oil and gas industry Wednesday to better understand how to prepare workers. Oilfield geologist Kathy Neset of Tioga, who also serves on the state Board of Higher Education, invited board members, university system staff and campus presidents to tour several oilfield locations. Hess Corp.
WATFORD CITY — Aly and Derrick Dickinson’s baby boy is due in six days, but Monday night’s tornado demolished their RV and the nursery they had set up for him. “In a split second, it was all gone,” said Derrick Dickinson, an oilfield worker from Missouri. People who moved from across the country to northwest North Dakota for work were picking up the pieces Tuesday after a tornado leveled at least a dozen RVs that housed workers and families.
BISMARCK — When North Dakota State University graduate Kevin Black was looking to start his career in 2011, he feared he’d have to leave his home state. “I really had every intention of going to Minneapolis because up until that point, if you were an engineering grad, the odds were you were going to have to go to Minneapolis or someplace out of state if you wanted a job in the engineering field,” said Black, who grew up in Grand Forks. Instead, Black decided to explore opportunities in western North Dakota, where the Bakken oil boom was creating a demand for educated workers. Black, who spe
BISMARCK — An attorney involved in the recently dismissed class-action flaring lawsuits is now asking the North Dakota Industrial Commission to determine if mineral owners are owed royalty payments. Attorney Derrick Braaten delivered the requests Friday to the North Dakota Industrial Commission after a federal judge ruled that the mineral owners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies through the Industrial Commission.
CHARLSON — About 10 to 20 gallons of a petroleum product have spilled into Sand Creek, a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, the North Dakota Department of Health said Friday. The product that spilled has not been positively identified, but appears to be associated with a pipeline leak and may involve fluid associated with natural gas or crude oil, the health department said.