Monday, June 13, 2011

Joplin Missouri Tornado

Most have heard of the tornado that tore through Joplin Missouri on May 22 in late afternoon. It was a mile wide and stayed on the ground for two miles. This tornado was one of the most destructive single tornadoes on record. In its path only total destruction remains. Television reports and video snippets do not begin to give the perspective of the magnitude of destruction from this massive tornado. This picture is one snapshot of what is a mile wide and two miles long. Nothing was left undamaged in its path. It was hard to imagine how anyone lived through this destruction but story after story has been told about how lives had been spared.

In the background you can see the now famous St. John's Mercy hospital. This is a nine story building that was virtually destroyed from the power of the tornado. The windows were blown out and the tornado was able to generate enough lift on the building to twist the building four inches off the foundation. In the fore ground, you can see what happened to many cars in the parking lot of the hospital.

This is a picture of one of the service trucks of the hospital. I would say that it is a standard 26 foot straight truck. This truck I would guess was rolled up the hill from the hospital and hurled against this tree. The massive power from this tornado literally wrapped the truck frame around the tree. On the right side you can see the back tires and on the left side you can see the cab and front of the truck.

This is a picture of the backside of the tree with the bent frame. That had to be one tough tree to stand strong against a force like that.

This is a closer look at the truck frame bent around the tree.

Here is the temporary care facility that is maybe a mile from the destroyed hospital. The camera couldn't capture the entire facility and this is only about half of the unit.

The overwhelming magnitude of destruction of property and the emotional trauma to the families in this situation was personally very emotional at times. To hear the heart wrenching stories of total loss or death in the families gave me a totally different perspective on what's important in life.

More later. In the mean time be safe.