LENS

August 29, 2011

Joplin, Missouri – August 16th, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — wally426 @ 9:57 pm

In the late afternoon of May 22nd, an EF5 tornado touched down East of Joplin and tore a path one mile wide and four miles long through the city. When it was over, 159 people lost their lives. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the US since 1947 and is the seventh deadliest ever to hit the country. The costs to rebuild Joplin could reach $3 billion.

Amazingly, there was actually a first-hand account documented on film taken in the tornado’s path. It was from a convenience store in the Eastern part of the city. The people were all herded into a walk-in freezer and survived. The video can be seen by clicking here. You can’t see anything, but the sound says it all. Listener discretion is advised… A similar event took place at a nearby Pizza Hut. The manager, Christopher Lucas, held a bungee chord around the door until it broke. He along with one of the waitresses were sucked out and killed, but the rest of the people survived. Seeing this city was by far one of the most sobering things I’ve ever witnessed…

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Streets have no name

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St. John’s Hospital – Four deaths were confirmed here. The tornado shifted the building four inches off its foundation.

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Half-way House

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All that was left of most houses….

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All of the trees had their bark ripped off. Most limbs looked totally contorted.

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Joplin High School – Luckily, the graduation ceremony that day was held outside of town.

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Books were left on their shelves in some places

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To get an idea of the opposing forces created by the wind, just look at the hole in this manhole cover…

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Newly installed tornado siren

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It’s hard to imagine the swath of destruction. Where there was once neat rows of houses, there was simply nothing. I ran down one block that had relatively unscathed houses on the south side and had nothing but debris on the north side. This is looking East…

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West

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South

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Survivor

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Most of the telephones had been replaced. Most that remained had been ripped in two.

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West

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Hope still thrives in Joplin

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Odd things came together in the massive winds

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Apocalypse

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One of the few places we saw that had a basement

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The tornado took the lives of two people inside, but left their clothes behind…

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Some people wondered if you could ride it out in a car. These crumpled wrecks should answer that question…

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The Elementary School

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Those who didn’t have basements went to the most firmly-secured spots on the house. There were quite a few tubs still intact…

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“Writing House”

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Looking Glass

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One of the houses that still had it’s wooden floors was turned into a make shift memorial. People wrote on pretty much every part of the house that was still standing…

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