25th Anniversary of Petersburg Tornado


Today it’s hard to see where the tornado hit years ago. But the memories are still clear. It was a devastating loss for the 2,400 residents of Petersburg.

It marks two anniversaries for Stacy White today. 

“The minister told us that he never had a wedding party leave the church in such a mess,” said Stacy White.

It’s her silver wedding anniversary and 25 years since a twister destroyed a town near and dear to her heart, Petersburg, Indiana.

“It sounded like a freight train. Everything sucked inward so all the glass broke and blew in on everyone,” said White.

Instead of memories of a first dance, it was a time to help those in need. At 8:30 that evening, Saturday, June 2nd 1990, an F4 tornado left six dead and 47 injured.

“You know cars were on their hoods, it looked like a junkyard is what it looked like. I couldn’t fathom. Until you’ve been through one, you have no idea,” said White.

Stacy and some bridesmaids were nurses, which became helpful as her reception turned into a make-shift triage center. She remembers one of the victims who was brought in.

“He had electrical wiring around his neck. They used a door as a cot to carry him over to us but unfortunately he didn’t make it,” said White. 

“It looked like a war zone had happened,” said Petersburg Mayor R.C. Klipsch.

She says it’s images she will never forget.

“It could have been a lot worse really. I mean we had 250 people there and just some minor injuries. The devastation though throughout the city was crazy,” said White.

The tornado destroyed the elementary school and homes along the way. Mayor R.C. Klipsch says he remembers glass everywhere and personal documents being found 45 miles away in Bedford.

“We had the big equipment to move all the debris, that’s the first thing that has to happen, just to open up the streets and to get things out of the way. To get back to as much to normal as you possibly could but that didn’t happen very quickly I remember,” said Klipsch.  

Twenty five years today, Stacy remembers a day of destruction and a blessing her life was protected.

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