The Joplin, Missouri post-tornado cleanup team has begun to arrive. I hope to send their updates as I get them. When I was in Tuscaloosa, internet service was sketchy and I only managed one update during the week. Keep checking back.
Day 1 - From Les and Mary Carroll
We were talking last night about how this will be life changing for us. We also talked about how much we take for granted and how very blessed we really are. You are someone in our lives who we dearly love. By sharing this experience, we feel in some way that you are here with us.
We arrived in Joplin Wednesday afternoon unsure of what we would encounter with no idea what to expect. Nothing in our experience prepared us for what was to come. As we came over the first hill and saw the devastation in front of us, we were speechless. See the slide show above, but know that these pictures do not capture even a hint of the horrific catastrophy before us.
The tornado of May 23rd at 5:42 pm on a Sunday evening cut a path 13 miles long and, in places, a half mile wide. The damage is extensive. A 12 story hospital was twisted four inches off of it's foundation. Window on almost every floor of that hospital imploded and much of the roof was lifted off. The building is now condemned. The high school was decimated, 18,000 cars were twisted beyond recognition, and the sparse landscape is punctuated by twisted bare trees and miles and miles of rubble. An iron cross of St. Mary's is all that remains of one particular church. Thirty churches were destroyed. Yesterday we stood in a cemetary where huge granite headstones were blown off the foundation.
It all leaves us asking just how fast can the wind really blow?