This year marks the 48th anniversary of the Palm Sunday tornadoes that tore through parts of Michiana and killed 62 people.
An event at the Elkhart County Historical Museum held Sunday morning commemorated the lives lost. Attendants looked back at photographs of the extensive damage left in the wake of the tornado, while some in the crowd shared their own stories and experiences from that fateful day.
Focus then shifted on how things would be handled if such an event were to happen today. Those that saw the destruction first-hand say that retelling these stories is an important way to assure the area is prepared to deal with an extensive level of distress.
Glenda Hurst worked at Elkhart General Hospital at the time the tornado hit and remembers the day vividly.
“In the hallway I met a hospital employee who had two little children by the hands one on either side just completely covered with mud and just tan. Everything was tan. Like fine sand or dirt. And the look of horror on their faces I won’t ever forget,” said Hurst, “The person who had them by the hand was trying to find their parents. I never got the end of the story so I don't know if their alive or not.”
Representatives from the Red Cross, as well as Elkhart County emergency management led a panel discussion to go over all their concerns and brainstorm ways to make responses more effective.