Sunday, June 5, 2011

More on Joplin, MO Tornado of 5-22-11

***Please note:  this is the "original" post that I wrote concerning the Joplin, MO tornado.  It was first posted within an hour of the event, and then updated over a subsequent week to 10 day period as new information came in.  Rather than replacing it after a time, I thought it would be better to keep it relatively intact so as to preserve the "historical record" here on the blog.

For later information, including more detailed summaries of the damage survey, photos, videos, radar data, personal interviews, etc., please go here for a "summary post" which contains links to all of my posts on the Joplin event.***

-----------------------------------Original post below:

A large, damaging tornado struck Joplin, MO beginning at about 5:40 PM on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011.  National Weather Service storm survey information has confirmed numerous cases of EF-5 damage (winds in excess of 200 mph), and widespread EF-4 damage (winds in excess of 166 mph) throughout the damage path in Joplin.  The survey is not 100% complete, but at this time the path length appears to be about 7 miles (almost all of which occurred in south Joplin) and the maximum damage width was 3/4 of a mile.

As of 6pm CDT on May 24th, over 120 people have reportedly lost their lives, with over 750 injured.  Unfortunately, many others are still missing.  Additional severe storms and heavy rains have occurred in Joplin daily since the event, which has slown rescue/recovery efforts each day.

The following picture of the tornado was just posted on Twitter (taken from an unknown location in or near Joplin):


The following video (pretty choppy at times) shows the tornado as it reportedly entered the far west or southwest side of Joplin.  It appears to quickly evolve from a multi-vortex to large wedge tornado:


The hospital took a direct hit, and video that I've seen of adjacent neighborhoods has damage that looks very similar to the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham, AL tornado damage of last month.



Most of a Wal-Mart store has been leveled (as shown in the image below):


Per emergency scanner reports, significant damage (described as homes completely gone or mostly destroyed) is off of Schifferdecker Road between 26th and 32nd streets in Joplin.  This is just to the West of the hospital that took a direct hit.  If you do some extrapolating from other damage reports, the bulk of the damage seems to be along and South of 20th Street in Joplin, with the worst from 26th through 32nd.


Taking the above as very preliminary information, here is a rough sketch of where the worst of the damage (EF-4 and EF-5) was done on the map below, just to give you an idea of where we are talking about:


Below is a preliminary track and intensity map produced by the NWS in Springfield.  The numbers inside of the triangles along the path indicate the preliminary EF-Intensity rating along that portion of the track.  Please note (5/25/11):  This map has not been updated by the NWS since they upgraded the damage classification to EF-5 yesterday.  I would pay less attention to the EF ratings on the map, and more attention to the path at this time.


The following are screen captures of recent damage video from Joplin.  The large structure that you'll see in the 4th image down is the hospital.  Most of the windows appear to be blown out. The last image, I'm afraid to say, was a neighborhood that for all practical purposes is now gone...







Go to this link for a panoramic view of the damage taken by someone near the hospital parking lot.

Here is a link to a raw damage video (appears to be from NBC / WeatherChannel).

Another video of WeatherChannel Meteorologist Mike Bettes is found below:



Areal video of the damage is also emerging now:






Please keep the people of Joplin, their family & friends, in your prayers as the true extent of this devastation continues to be realized.

If you live in the area and need help, or if you live outside the area and need information on a loved one or would like to offer your assistance in some way, please visit the following resources:

Find a Red Cross Shelter
http://www.redcross.org/nss/

Southwest Missouri Red Cross
http://redcross-ozarks.org/joplin/
On Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ozarksredcross

Volunteer Ozarks Red Cross
http://www.redcross-ozarks.org/volunteer/

Safe and Well from the Red Cross
https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Missouri state government assistance, shelter information
http://1.usa.gov/lk992f

Joplin, Missouri Tornado Recovery Facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/joplinmo

City of Joplin on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/CityofJoplin

FEMA
800-621-3362

The United Way
http://www.uwheartmo.org/


For more on the Joplin tornado event, click here to return to the table of contents post, which contains a chronological listing of all related posts, and will be updated with new links as additional posts are made.

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

holy crap that is right next to me i live in seneca i wonder if were gonna get hit!!!

hilltopboxers4u said...

Springfield here... any info on Carl Junction or the Reeds area?? Family there...

Rob In Texas said...

Anonymous from Seneca, You are okay, tornado wise, at this time. Heavy rain, large hail possible, tornado threat has passed South and East of you.

Rob In Texas said...

hilltopboxers4u, I backed up the radar imagery and the circulation appears to have passed South of Reeds by about 5-10 miles (it was moving East/Southeast to the South of Joplin from what I can see). I'm not sure where Carl Junction is in relation to that, it is not coming up on my radar imagery.

Rob In Texas said...

hilltopboxers, I see Carl Junction now, I wasn't looking West of Joplin before. The circulation was South of there as well. They probably had large hail and strong winds. No damage reports from there so far.

hilltopboxers4u said...

Carl Junction is right next to Webb City

hilltopboxers4u said...

Thank you!!!

Kirsten said...

I have not heard back from my parents and I am very worried. Any known damage around 20th street?

Rob In Texas said...

Kirsten, The vantage point of the person taking the video which I screen captured was from 26th street near the hospital, from what I can tell. I am hearing reports of "damage" on 20th street on the emergency scanner, however they are not being specific as to cross streets, type of damage, etc. It mainly seems to be dealing with debris in the roadway that is blocking emergency crews from getting where they need to go.

If you have a smartphone, you should be able to download an app that will let you listen to scanner traffic in Jasper County. You may also be able to find something like that online...

Anonymous said...

DAmage around 20th and range line bad

The Planet Pink said...

We drive through Joplin all the time on the way to KC. So devastating. Our thoughts and prayers are with those caught in the path.

Aiyana said...

15th street walmart almost gone, pepsi gone, home depot damaged. I have family around main & 20th...mostly limbs in the way, several houses damaged

Nymphoria Nymphyte said...

Oh my!! I am in Neosho at this current moment, and we drove through the activity, so I can safely say that it was an intense storm. Though a Tornado demolishing Joplin is just as mind-blowing as one ripping apart my hometown of Granby. My head spins and my heart mourns those damaged by this horrific event. Though, I must comment. Wasn't the rapture, the "end of the world" suppose to take place yesterday? :)

Begreen said...

Any new on 22nd and Wall area? My sister lives there and I can't get in touch with her.

Anonymous said...

anyone heard if empire baptist church was hit?

Deidre said...

Tuscaloosa AL is praying for the people of Joplin.

Shamrock said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers, Joplin! My heart breaks for you...God Bless you and stay safe!

Rob In Texas said...

Per scanner reports, significant damage (described as homes completely gone or mostly destroyed) off of Schifferdecker Road between 26th and 32nd streets in Joplin. This is just to the West of the hospital that took a direct hit.

If you do some extrapolating from other damage reports, the bulk of the damage seems to be along and South of 20th Street in Joplin, with the worst from 26th through 32nd.

It is unclear how far East the worst of the damage extends at this time, but we do know it is at least as far as the hospital on McClelland Boulevard. I heard a report earlier noting Main Street (which is the next major street East of McClelland) was 'mostly clear'.

DJ Dent said...

About a fourth of the entire city is destroyed. From 15th to 20th street between Maiden Lane and Range Line looks like a parking lot. It ripped down Rangeline and also by Missouri Southern State University.

Anonymous said...

cul-de-sac on 20th & Carolyn partially damaged, but all residents seem ok.

Does anyone know anything about the Wal Mart on S Range Line? My cousin was working and no one can reach her...

hilltopboxers4u said...

Just wanted to say "thank you so much" for all that you have done and for keeping us updated as much as possible!!

hilltopboxers4u said...

I don't mean to alram you, but the Walmart is completly devestated. I'm sorry I don't have an injery report. I pray that everyone was in the shelter.

Rob In Texas said...

Anonymous that was referring to Wal-Mart,

Unfortunately, that is the Wal-Mart that is pictured in the blog (and virtually destroyed). I did hear on the scanner earlier that numerous people were rescued there and had taken shelter in freezers, etc. I certainly hope and pray that your cousin was one of those people.

Miss Liberty Belle said...

Does anyone have any word on Landmark Hospital? A really good friend of mine's stepfather was being cared for there. We hear that St. John's, which is right around the corner, was damaged pretty severely, but haven't heard anything about Landmark.

Rob In Texas said...

hilltopboxers,

Thank you for your kind words. I only wish I could put people in direct contact with their loved ones, or someone who knows them. We can only do what we can do, which includes praying for the people of Joplin, and all those concerned.

Rob In Texas said...

As I continue to listen to the emergency scanner, the increasing sound of dispair and sometimes desperation from the emergency crews is heart breaking.

7 more people were just confirmed dead at the Greenbriar Nursing Center. Many others are injured and being taken to the triage at Wildwood Church where they will be taken to a hospital.

A temporary morgue is being set up at the Missouri Southern State University Campus.

MDavis said...

What about the area 1/2 mile south and 1 mile east of the hospital? Any word?

Anonymous said...

Rob in Texas-thank you for the update on Wal mart.

Kirsten-do you have a cross street? 20th & Black Cat (Twin Hills) is ok.

Anonymous said...

May God be with you!!!!!!!!! All people touch or will be touched by this Tornado. Tuscaloosa prays for Joplin. Everyone that can help get involved now. Nothing is to small.

Anonymous said...

was just east of landmark on the south side of 32nd when the tornado hit and the building i was in was undamaged

Anonymous said...

My grandparents live at west 32nd and main? Was it hit?

Anonymous said...

i used to live in carl junction, mo small town just 5 mi. north of joplin and on may 4th 2001 my house was completely destroyed by an f-3 tornado. got to tell ya i grew up in s. florida 26 yrs and been thru many hurricanes and i would take a hurricane over a tornado any day.

dennis said...

my thoughts and prayers go out to the families that are suffering in that city. my daughter lives there im thankful it didnt drop down on 4th street and rangeline

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard about Webb City? My sisters live there and i haven't been able to reach them

Anonymous said...

Is there any word about possible damage of S. Pennsylvania Ave.? I have a cousin who was living there the last I heard. Very worried about her.

Anonymous said...

Anyone seen 2100 block of Texas Ave? Anything left standing? Aunt and Uncle there.

Dwight Tucker said...

Check this out: Prison Inmate sends message to Alabama & Joplin Tornado victims http://youtu.be/wdkKIwx5_lQ Plz FWD Thanks!

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