For a lot of Evansville residents, Tuesday, June 8, 1982, is a day that they will never forget. Some were in the middle of the school day, some were preparing to graduate, and others were out saving lives. It started out as a nice day, and by lunchtime winds as strong as a hurricane took out trees and power lines.


What's The Deal With June 8th?

As I'm writing this article, half of my neighborhood is sunny, the other half is a dark cloud of thunder. We have some storm watches around us, and we have been preparing for possible storms this afternoon and evening. If you don't remember the 1982 storm, perhaps you were around for the 1995 storm. That's right, another strong storm outbreak on June 8th.

A Day You'll Never Forget

Larry Bristow knows everything there is to know about the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, including what it is like to seek shelter in it during a storm. Here's what Larry remembers from 1982 -

I was at the Old Courthouse meeting with my boss Randy Shephard. In spite of the ominous sky, he decided to walk back to his office at the Civic Center. Minutes later it hit. As I stood in the first-floor rotunda I could look out each of the 4 doors. The rain was horizontal and blowing to the right -in each door, meaning it was circling around the building. I opened the sub-basement for occupants to take refuge away from the 12-foot windows.
In the end, a couple of windows were damaged but no other serious damage. A few blocks away Willard Library wasn't as lucky as its roof was lifted and sat back down a few inches from where it was.
Randy had found shelter along the way and was unhurt. Larry Bristow

 Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse Main Hallway

Photo: Liberty
Photo: Liberty

Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart shared photos from the 1982 storm, via Thomas Crofts.

Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin was in the 3rd Grade

"40 years ago today was the June 8th, 1982 storm. I was in third grade at Caze School. Yes, the school hadn’t let out for summer yet. Mrs. Flagg took a group of us into the Teacher’s Lounge next to the cafeteria. That was our first sign of how serious this was, at that point in our young lives, most of us had never seen the Teachers Lounge! Two things stand out in my memory from that day. The first was how upset Princess Brown (anyone know how she is???) was because her younger brother Walter was supposed to be walking home from his school at that time and she was worried about him. The second was seeing the big limb that flew through the cafeteria window after we were allowed to come out of the room."

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You Can Never Be Too Prepared

Most of us are used to hearing a weather siren sound in the neighborhood to signal that a storm warning is in effect. If you happen to be watching a streaming service, you aren't going to see one of our local Meteorologists break in with reports. So, just have a few different ways to make sure you and your family stay safe.

Learn more about the StormReady Program with the National Weather Service HERE.

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Local Tri-State tornado chaser Christopher Conley captures heartbreaking and gut-wrenching photos from his drone. Photos reflect devastation in both Bremen, KY, and Dawson Springs, KY. We in this area are so thankful for Chris as he ensures community members remain safe during the storms.

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