Devastating Tornado In Joplin Missouri
Sunday, May 22, 2011 a F4 tornado 3/4 mile wide ripped through Joplin Missouri which is located in the southwestern corner of the state. Joplin is a cozy midwestern town with approximately 50,000 people. The tornado took a large toll on those residents. About 1,000 people were injured and the death toll has risen to 161.
My family went to Joplin today to see firsthand what we’d been seeing on the news. It was unbelievable. Neighborhoods were no more. It’s been six weeks since it happened and workers are still picking up debris and tearing down the remains of what was once people’s homes. Blocks and blocks of land with just a chimney here or a wall there. It looked like a forest of 2 by 4’s sticking up out of the ground. We went by the high school and the hospital. Both had extensive damage.
We have family in Joplin. My cousin and his wife were in the Walmart when it happened. They tried to take shelter in the electronics department. They said TV’s were falling off the walls and display items were flying everywhere. People were screaming. When it was over people grabbed first aid items and were trying to help the injured. When they walked outside their car was on top of other cars. They made it through safely but it will take a long time to get over the fear and devastation of what happened.
Joplin will rebuild but I don’t know if it will ever be the same as what I remember from childhood summer visits.