Joplin is about an hour’s drive south of where I was born and raised. I’ve shopped in Joplin, gone to their restaurants, gone through there a million times, stayed in the hospital there with my friend who was having brain surgery. It was part of my childhood and early adulthood territory, playground.
The city’s major Hospital took a direct hit. 89 dead is the count now. 25-30% of Joplin has been devastated, wiped out, and they were begging last night for rescue workers, doctors and medical personnel because they can’t handle it on their own. Over 490 have responded from all over a 5-state area including from KC. We’ve got firemen and medical personnel and Red Cross from KC down there. I’m about to go to RedCross.org and donate since I can’t physically go help. I wish I could go.
The storm cut a half mile swath for six miles through Joplin, splitting the 50,000 population city in half. There are about 175,000 in the Joplin metro area. I’ve seen pictures of the tornado itself. My God, it was a monster. F-4 to F-5. The bark was stripped off the trees in its path.
I sat here crying for a couple of hours last night and didn’t sleep well. Was up again at about 4 a.m.
I’m fond of Joplin. These are MY people, from MY part of Missouri.
My close friend’s son works in Joplin, manages a store there. I can’t check on him tonight, have no way to reach Annie. Also my friend’s house is in the country by Wyandotte, OK in the corner where MO, OK & KS meet and right in the path of another tornado. she’s been hit by a tornado before. There is a cellar a few yards away from their house so I’m praying they didn’t get hit or, if they did, were safely tucked into the cellar. Her husband is an RN working near Joplin. I know he works night so I’m praying he wasn’t traveling through there when the tornado hit. I’ll try Annie soon, praying the cell phones are working. But the towers could be down along with all the phone lines.
It’s not over, either. There are more storms and possible tornadoes headed for that same area today.
Monday should be OK for us here in the KC area but Tuesday could be a bitch for us. And I have no place to take shelter. I’ll wave as I pass over. (Not fuuny, really, but… whatcha gonna do when it comes for you?)