Turtle Mountain Reservation hit hard by tornadoes

The Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation in North Dakota was the hardest hit by six tornadoes on Monday afternoon.

A 44-year-old man was the only person injured by the storms. But at least 19 homes were seriously damaged, leaving families without a place to live.

“A lot of the homes that were hit were poverty stricken, so they had no insurance,” Anita Blue, the emergency manager for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, told The Grand Forks Herald.

Chairman David “Doc” Brien said the tribe needs to prepare better for disasters. The tornado sirens never went off, so residents were surprised by the tornadoes.

“It came out of nowhere,” said Shaiyan Davis, 14, who was attending a cultural camp at the time.

Council member Stewart LaFountain said a similar situation occurred two years ago when a major windstorm caused the death of a tribal member. He said the tribe hasn't taken steps to prepare an emergency response plan.

For additional photos, see http://rolla.nd.utma.com/rolla_tornado_pictures.htm.

Get the Story:
Belcourt’s warning system faces scrutiny (The Grand Forks Herald 7/9)
Rolla residents survey damage, count blessings (The Grand Forks Herald 7/9)