(St. Peter, MN) – Those who didn’t have a chance to attend last month’s Twist of Fate ceremony, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the St. Peter tornado can now watch it online.
The event was held March 29 at the St. Peter High School and featured emcee Don Shelby.
Some facts about that fateful day in 1998:
- There were 16 tornadoes across the region—14 in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin.
- Over $235 million in damage was recorded from the tornadoes,
- Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter was especially hard-hit, with almost every building damaged or destroyed, 2,000 trees lost, and nearly 80% of the windows on the campus shattered. Damage was estimated at nearly $60 million.
- Peter’s Catholic Church and St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church were destroyed, as was the Arts and Heritage Center and the Saint Peter Community Center. The Hospital was severely damaged and the library was destroyed.
- Officials estimated 200 homes in St. Peter were destroyed, 400 sustained structural damage and 1,200 more received damage with over 17,000 trees were lost.
- Before this event there had been only six tornadoes ever recorded in the state during March, and since this event there has been only six.
- With a path of 67 miles is the longest continuous-track tornado in Minnesota history, meaning that it was the longest to have been observed to always be in contact with the ground.
- The damage from the F4 tornado that struck Comfrey is the strongest ever measured in Minnesota during the month of March.
- Most of St. Peter’s buildings that were on the National Historic Registerwere damaged, and two schools Saint Peter Central School (built in 1871) and John Ireland School had to be demolished.
- There was no electrical power to some areas of the community for almost two weeks.
- House by house searches were completed within three hours of the tornado.
- Estimates of 10,000 volunteers came to help in the two weeks after the tornado.
- Two people lost their lives as a result of the tornado and its aftermath and 21 people were injured.
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