June 30, 2004

Marengo Cave US National Landmark Tornado Triumph

On Sunday, May 30th, over 200 visitors from around the world discovered that a cave is a great place to be in a tornado.

When the F3 tornado barreled down on the small town of 800 people, staff at the US National Landmark directed over 200 visitors on 6 tours into the cave before the storm hit. When the lights went out, leaving groups of 25 with just the guide's flashlight, lanterns were quickly delivered to each tour.

The 400 foot wide tornado touched down along the entrance road to the park as it crossed SR 64 just east of town, leaving trees down everywhere. No one was injured and only one vehicle was briefly blocked by downed trees. Debris was quickly cleared and travelers were able to make their way home within the hour.

Power was restored late Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the tornado touched down thanks to round the clock efforts by Cinergy crews and hundreds of volunteers who worked to clear the roads. The park reopened Wednesday as it has daily since 1883, and the first cars arrived a short time later.

Relief workers included volunteer firemen from 25 towns, 160 National Guardmen, Red Cross, Salvation Army and hundreds of individuals and church groups. The Park is sponsoring a canned food drive for the disaster relief effort. Visitors bringing a canned food item or dry goods will receive $3.00 off the admission price of each person with a donation. Guest may also opt to donate their discount to the tornado relief fund.

Roads are open to reach the park, 40 minutes west of Lousville Kentucky, an hour east of Evansville and 2 hours south of Indianapolis. Marengo Cave is open daily at 9am EDT, year round.

Information on cave tours is available at 888-70-CAVES.

Information and photos of the disaster and relief efforts are available online at marengotornado.com.

For more information, contact our Media Representative.

Design by Carrie Caskey