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May 23rd, 2011, 11:03 AM #1Devastating Tornado in Joplin, MO
I have a lot of family and friends in Southwest Missouri (all safe, as far as I know), so I've been following this pretty closely since it happened yesterday evening.
A tornado estimated to be an EF4 cut a path 6 miles long and up to a mile wide through the south side of Joplin (population 50k), leveling an estimated 10-20% of the town. A hospital, two fire stations, several schools, a Wal-Mart and a Home Depot were among some of the destroyed or heavily damaged commercial buildings. Gas mains, electrical lines, phone lines, and cell towers were also destroyed, hindering relief efforts and causing other problems. 89 are confirmed dead so far, but that number is sure to grow.
I don't know of any members there (Gary is about an hour away in Springfield), but I wouldn't be surprised if we have some or if members have family or friends affected. If you're nearby and safe, please let us know that you're okay!
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Disaster Update: Tornadoes in the Midwest « American Red Cross Disaster Newsroom
YouTube - ‪Joplin, Missouri tornado damage from the air‬‏
May 23rd, 2011, 11:27 AM #2
Thank you, Michael, for thinking to start this thread.
Yes, I live in Springfield, about a hour away as you mentioned. It was a terribly scary evening, even here, because we could see the Joplin tornado (via weather radar tracking, not actually "seeing" it) was holding together and headed eastward. As far as I know, it dropped debris from the sky even as far away as here and a bit further north. But I don't think it did any significant damage outside of the immediate Joplin area.
May the Lord and well-trained emergency personnel help all those good folks in Joplin. I encourage anyone who can help via donations of any sort to do so.
A few weeks ago, Alabama was hit even worse than this. And now Joplin. Truly a horrible spring for weather here in the U.S.
Trust all who hang out here from the Joplin area are well and safe.
GaryGenerate more fake news.
May 23rd, 2011, 12:54 PM #3
I heard a report about similar damage in Redding, Kansas. I know I've seen folks in the industry from that area too. I hope anyone near one of these areas is safe and secure with their families and homes.
May 23rd, 2011, 04:40 PM #4
Glad to hear you're ok Gary, and so sorry to see all of the destruction in your neck of the woods. I just saw a report on the local news here, and the estimates of damage in Joplin are now up even higher.
I also just saw this article on Slate.com "The Year of the Tornado", saying in part, that so far in 2011, more people have died in tornadoes in the US than in the previous 7 years combined.
May 23rd, 2011, 10:03 PM #5
Listening to the amazing news reports about Joplin right now.
The bright spots -- 17 people were found and pulled alive out of the rubble today. And last night, within minutes after the tornado hit the St. John's Medical Center there and destroyed it, people from throughout Joplin rushed to the site and risked their own lives climbing through stairwells to hospital rooms and pulled patients/personnel out of the rubble and got them to a safe place.
Wonderful testimony of people spontaneously volunteering and risking personal danger to help others!
GaryGenerate more fake news.
May 24th, 2011, 02:16 PM #6
@Gary, I was worried about you. Glad to here that you an your wife are OK.
May 24th, 2011, 03:13 PM #7Generate more fake news.
May 24th, 2011, 04:47 PM #8
Thanks Michael for the post, when I read it I immediately checked the news. My dad thankfully moved to Orlando in November and was in Springfield.
Growing up in St. Joseph 210 miles north I have been through my share of tornadoes luckily all out in the country. I can tell you from years past when driving past Joplin on the way to Springfield I have seen insulation from mobile homes strewn along the highway from miles. Will pray for the people of Joplin and hope this is the last of the tornadoes for a long time in that part of the country.
May 24th, 2011, 08:17 PM #9
Our IT guy at iNet went to visit family in Joplin this week, and his immediately family has thankfully reported in as ok. He's planning to still make it there, and see if they can do any repairs to their homes.Matt Bidinger
Online Community Engagement
May 24th, 2011, 09:12 PM #10
Tornadoes are bad this year. Thoughts and prayers to all affected.
Oddly, we've even had two warnings here in the last month or so, which is not rare but certainly very uncommon. 2 a year max for the most part. Granted, we may not see another this year, but odds are against that.
Fortunately, they have been harmless or non-forming.
I see Minnesota (yes, Minnesota) had a touch down this week as well. Shifting weather patterns will keep us all on our toes.
As for Joplin, I can't feel worse about that than I do. Simply unreal to consider, from where I sit.
May 24th, 2011, 09:19 PM #11
Hearing some frightening stuff about storms and tornadoes around Dallas-Ft Worth.
Sure hope Michael, Jimmy, and the rest of the Texas guys and their families are all safe and secure, and that anyone in the Oklahoma area has also gotten through it ok.
May 24th, 2011, 11:24 PM #12
With all the destruction in Joplin, it's truly a miracle that more people weren't killed. Hundreds (thousands?) of homes and many businesses were completely leveled. The tornado was 3/4 mile wide and plowed through 6 miles of the city.
I'm thankful to hear that nobody here appears to have been affected or had any friends or family affected.