Anniversary Of Comfrey-St. Peter Tornado 29 Mar 13

Today (FRI) is the 15-year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that caused severe damage across the local area, most notably in Comfrey and St. Peter. A strong area of low pressure combined with a warm front during the late-afternoon hours of March 29th, 1998 to produce a total of 16 tornadoes across the region -14 in Minnesota and 2 in Wisconsin. Thirteen of the tornadoes in Minnesota were spawned by a single supercell thunderstorm which travelled 150 miles across southern Minnesota. Over $235-million in damage was caused by the tornadoes and two people were killed, an elderly man near Comfrey and an 8-year-old boy in St. Peter. Twenty-one others were injured as well. The tornado that hit Comfrey was rated an F4 at the time, and when it got to St. Peter it was an F3. Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter was hit especially hard, with several buildings damaged or destroyed, 2,000 trees lost, and nearly 80% of the windows on the campus shattered. In Comfrey, 75% of the structures in the town were damaged or destroyed. Seven counties in southern Minnesota were declared federal disaster areas because of the storm.