A new wave in attacks on tourists in North Dakota could force the closure of more than a dozen attractions, including a state park and a wildlife refuge, according to state tourism officials.
The attacks have left visitors stranded in shelters, frustrated and frightened.
The state is bracing for more tourists in the weeks ahead as more than 50 people are confirmed dead from the attacks, according a state tourism official.
North Dakota Gov.
Steve Bullock announced Friday the state is “actively considering” opening parks and other state resources for foreign visitors.
“We need the international community to come in, and we’re trying to figure out what the best way is to get the international visitors in the state of North Dakota and in the surrounding communities,” Bullock said.
North Dakotans are already feeling the effects of the attacks.
A federal judge in Dallas on Friday temporarily halted a Trump administration plan to increase border security and expedite the processing of refugee applications, saying the administration did not follow the court’s ruling.
Bullock is working with Trump administration officials to determine how to handle the new surge of visitors.
But some in the tourism industry are bracing the attacks to force more visitors to the state.
“I think the tourism community needs to be prepared for this kind of thing,” said Kim Henningsen, vice president of public affairs at the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s just really sad to see the state that we have come to rely on for so many years being so badly shaken up by this sort of attack.
This is not something we should be talking about.”
The attacks at the Mecanum Creek Wildlife Refuge in Fargo and the Mucow Creek Wildlife Sanctuary in Mankato were the latest in a string of attacks on U.S. citizens.
On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on the New York City Museum of Natural History, killing six people, including two U.N. staffers.
On Friday, two people were shot dead outside a Minneapolis church, where a gunman shot two other people before he was shot and killed by police.
And on Friday, a man was killed in a car crash outside Dallas, after police say he opened fire inside the car.
A woman who was in the church shooting was arrested and faces charges, and the man was shot by police, according the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.