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Evansville, Indiana
June 8, 1990     The Message
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June 8, 1990

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June 8,1990 ' I The Message. for Catholics of Southwestern lndianalll J une 2 to rn adoes .,Continued from page 1 hardware store was "crusl/ed like it had been in an earthquake." A flimsy traffic sign was still Standing at one location, he said. Next to it, a heavy metal railroad warning sign was bent OVer and twisted off. Power was out and water was off at the church and rectory, and throughout large areas of the city. Petersburg residents had already been forced to con- erve water, limited only to one ourth of what they customarily Use, since a water main was broken by spring flooding. A temporary water line was not damaged by the tornado, but aking pipes at tornado- uamaged homes added to the Water distribution woes. Among the houses heavily damaged in Petersburg was the " home of Ted and Ardella Merter, members of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. They believe Bishop Conffnued from page 1 ": !ood, clothing, furniture, Ouilding materials or other items will be referred to an ap- Propriate agency. "The rebuilding of a com- rnunitv. .j will be a very long and d!fficult process," wrote .lShol Gettelfinger to pastors ". In the diocese. He said long term help Was needed. On the local and area level, the bishop encouraged parishes tt have a second collection for .ue next several weeks to assist in the Indiana Tornado Fund 1990. The bishop said that Father William Dietsch in Petersburg d Father Leo Kiesel, Dean of it was the third oldest house in the town. It was constructed "in 1867 or 1876," according to Merter. The Merters, four grand- children and their mother, were in the 10-room home when the tornado hit, No one was hurt, but solid brick walls, 18 inches thick, were blown down. Merter was glad he and the other members of the family did not take traditional advice and go into the basement. It is now full of rubble. Merter said he was watching out of a small window as the tornado approached Just when he thought it would pass, one wall fell, then another, and then the roof lifted off. "We're so lucky," he said, and repeated. "We're so lucky Nobody got a scratch." The Merters had been work- ing on restoring the home. Now they fear the house is damaged beyond repair. the Washington Deanery, have told him that there is still an im- mediate need for perishable and non-perishable goods Dona- tions and offers of assistance from within the Diocese of Evansville should be directed to Thomas Coe at Catholic Charities, 423-5456. "More than anything else, let US pray to Almighty God that those who died in this tragedy will have eternal life as we also give thanks that so many were spared," concluded the bishop in his letter. "Let us pray as well for our brothers and sisters who now set out in faith to rebuild their lives." ii it s" .Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Petersburg, top, shows relatively .utght roof damage as the result of a falling chimney. The steeple aind Sts. Peter and Paul is the Free Methodist Church, which .eteeived extensive roof damage. A small portion of the Methodist '4turch roof damage is visible below the steeple. l'he Federalist style home of Ted and Ardella Merter, right, , appears damaged beyond repair. No one was injured in e 10-room home has five fireplaces, hardwood trim, and ..?neh thick brick walls. The Merters believe it was the third desolate tree, above, stripped of all its leaves, stands silent "; guarA against a gloomy sky above the devastation below. -- Message photos by Phil Boger