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30th Tornado Anniversary

Plainfield tornadoOn August 28, 1990, an F-5 tornado struck the village of Plainfield. In eight minutes, the tornado covered 16.4 miles from its point of origin in Wheatland Township to the point where it went airborne over Joliet. The event made international headlines. Twenty-nine people perished, and more than 350 people were injured. The high school, school administration office, an elementary school, the Library’s branch, St. Mary’s Church and parochial school and more than 1000 homes and businesses were either destroyed or severely damaged, resulting in over $140 million in property damage. It remains the deadliest tornado to strike Will County. The Library has been collecting stories, photos, documents and interviews since 1990, all of which is available on our website. 

As this milestone approaches, we want to remind residents that we continue to collect memories of that fateful day and the weeks and months that followed. Thousands of volunteers, doctors and nurses and organizations worked to rebuild homes, businesses and most importantly, the lives that had been torn apart by the storm. Plainfield is just one of several communities that were impacted by that day who came together in solidarity to offer support to those in need. The memories of those individuals help those who never experienced the tornado understand how this event impacted and shaped the community for decades to come.

Share your documents, photos or videos through the Tornado Online Submission Portal. Email Reference Librarian Tina Beaird at tbeaird@plainfieldpubliclibrary.org for more information.

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