JOLIET – The Joliet Area Historical Museum’s special exhibit on the 1990 Plainfield tornado will have the added attraction Sunday of a storm chaser.
The exhibit, “Eight Minutes in August: The 1990 Tornado,” has proven a popular draw and at times an emotional experience for museum-goers with vivid memories of the tornado, said Greg Peerbolte, executive director at the museum.
“People have been very moved,” Peerbolte said. “You ask people what they think about the exhibit, and they’ll pour their hearts out to you.”
The program Sunday is the first of three that will accompany the exhibit, which runs through Nov. 20.
Danny Neal of Illinois Storm Chasers will present “On the Road with Illinois Storm Chasers” at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Caterpillar Auditorium.
Neal has a large following, and registration for the program has been good, Peerbolte said.
Neal will return Nov. 5 for a presentation titled “Are You Ready?” On Oct. 18, Jeremy Hylka, director of the Joliet Weather Center, will present “Then and Now: Remember August 28th.”
The programs fit with the blend of history and science that is on display with “Eight Minutes in August.”
In addition to photographs and artifacts from the tornado, which swept through Plainfield, Crest Hill and Joliet 25 years ago, panels describe tornadoes and the Fujita Scale used to measure their intensity.
“You’re dealing with complex scientific things that you have to explain simply,” Peerbolte said.
Instrumental in the effort was Liz McNeil, the museum’s special events manager, who used her graphic arts talents to design the several panels used to describe what occurred the day of the tornado.
“I wanted to put people in the position that someone who lived through it had been,” McNeil said. “I wanted to put them in the eight minutes and how tragic it was and how heart-warming it was the way the community came together.”
Panels include a map showing the path of the tornado, its changing tornado and where it touched down.
Two video kiosks show a segment of the storm filmed in DeKalb before the tornado was created and the aftermath of the destruction. A large-screen TV is used to show a WBBM-Channel 2 program on the tornado.
For information about the Sunday program, call 815-723-5201, Ext. 235. Or visit www.jolietmuseum.org.