Tornado of 2002
On April 28th, 2002 the La Plata area was severely impacted by a tornado that destroyed our infrastructure, hampered our businesses, damaged our buildings, and rattled the peace and security of our homes. In the intervening years, the strength of this community has been shown through repairing the damage, removing the debris, and building back a community that is closer, better, and stronger than before the tornado.
The Town of La Plata recognized the ten-year anniversary with a full day of community togetherness, fun, and remembrance at Celebrate La Plata on Saturday, April 28, 2012.
The Town also coordinated the Memory Lane Exhibit that highlighted the impact of the tornado across La Plata, and how people overcame the challenges they were faced with. Many property owners along the tornado's path participated in the Memory Lane Exhibit by displaying an exhibit at their business or residence that showed pictures of the property before and after the tornado, detailed the tornado impact, and shared some narrative about how they have rebuilt. The walking tour was available for the entire month of April 2012. View the entire Memory Lane Exhibit.
Thank you to the many organizations, businesses, and individuals everyone who helped along the way, especially in the early days immediately following the tornado. The recovery and rebuilding that followed this tragic event has wiped out all evidence of the devastation and left us with a beautiful Town and a closer and stronger community.
The tornado in 2002 and the one of 1926 are part of the community history and represent a shared experience that have shaped the people and the landscape of La Plata. Share your experiences, photos, video, and memories on the La Plata Facebook page.
Links of Interest
- Project Restore video; from Center for Children funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), takes a look back at the tornadoes that damaged the Town of La Plata in 1926 and 2002.
- Photos of 2002 tornado damage
- Memory Lane Exhibit
- Maryland Department of Planning Tornado Anniversary Site
- La Plata's story by former Mayor Bill Eckman (PDF)