The Bakken shale has brought enormous economic prosperity to towns in North Dakota and Montana but also has exacerbated problems in housing, infrastructure and traffic.

A man camp outside of Watford City, North Dakota. Theoil boom has brought unprecedented prosperity to little towns like Watford City, N.D. (population 1,744), it has also exacerbated problems in housing, infrastructure and traffic.

Williston (“Kuwait on the Prairie”), Watford City and their neighboring towns in North Dakota sit atop the biggest lake of oil to be discovered in North America since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay in 1968.

There are too many unfilled jobs and not enough empty beds to accommodate the masses of people looking for work in the oil boom, man camps have sprung up throughout the formerly idyllic prairie. They are dormitory-style buildings, FEMA trailers, or RV’s, and a temporary solution to housing workers but are straining utilities and stretching towns emergency services.

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