Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JOPLIN - 29 Days After the Storm

On June 21, 2011 Chief Barlow and Brandon Blackwelder drove from the Skills USA National Conference in Kansas City, MO to Joplin, MO to tour and document the damage caused by the EF5 Tornado that ravaged the city just 29 days ealier.

The sights and smells, the crunching of powdered glass and wood, the total devastation and the items left behind were astounding. Nothing can prepare

you for having a boots on the ground experience like this. The photos and videos do not truly represent the devastation or the loss nor does it represent the spirit of the people who are rebuilding.
While there we were able to visit with the crew of Joplin Fire Department Station 2 that was on duty the evening of May 22, 2011 and had to remove the door of the Fire Station in order to get their reserve engine company out. The roof and wall had fallen on the primary engine company. These guys are operating out of two camping trailers along with the new Pierce Engine Company that was donated to replace the one they lost.

There were many photos that were Not Taken because to do so would be too painful for some or be in poor taste or disrespectful. As it is, this post has taken me a long time to prepare for and I plan to continue working on it throughout the summer. I have spent a long time researching and I have decided to put together a page on my personal website dedicated to Joplin

and the links that I feel really tell the story best.
That page will be linked here in the near future.

The Death Toll as of July 11, 2011 stands at 159 with 13 still missing.
Please Pray for the people of Joplin!
When we were there the Dusk to Dawn Curfew was still in place inside "The Zone"and all US flags were flying at half staff. Over the July 4th weekend, the flags were just raised to full staff.
This video gives a pretty good indication of the damage and the Lyrics match very well. The streets have no names - the names are literally painted on the pavement at the intersections.
I found this account of the events of the evening of May 22 from a Physician who is also a Stormchaser and who assisted at Freeman Hospital for the first 12 hours.

This is a Graphic account of the Storm and the injuries that it produced.
The Storm Doctor: First Response ModeMay 22 - Joplin

Samaritan's Purse Relief and Development

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