St. Peter tornado anniversary event set

A St. Peter resident sorted through the rubble of her home for salvageable items shortly after a tornado hit the community, March 29, 1998. File photo

ST. PETER — St. Peter community members are planning an event to reflect on the 20 years since a tornado with 150-mile winds ripped through their town and destroyed or damaged more than 2,000 buildings.

The commemoration 5 p.m. March 29 in the town's new high school building is billed by its organizers as a celebration of the remarkable progress that has been made since the 1998 twister.

Retired WCCO news anchor Don Shelby is one of the emcees picked to lead the commemoration.

Presentations, photo displays, video and music are planned.

Audience members will be invited after the program to share their tornado experiences.

The F3 tornado that hit St. Peter shortly after 5 p.m. March 29, 1998, especially stands out since it arrived so early in the year and stayed on the ground for a long time.

St. Peter's 1998 twister was part of a supercell which also struck Comfrey and Le Center. That weather event was the greatest March tornado outbreak in Minnesota history, the National Weather Service said. One of the tornadoes had a 67-mile-long path.

St. Peter 20th Year Tornado Commemoration committee members are asking the public to submit their photographs related to the 1998 tornado. For more information, contact Nicollet County Historical Society at 943-2160 or the St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce at 934-3400.

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