Most Incredible Videos Of Joplin, Missouri Tornado: Officials Say 89 Confirmed Dead (Video/Pictures/Links)
I have a soft spot for Missouri. I spent my first year of college in Fulton at what is now William Woods University (GO WILLIE WOO!!!) and my friends and I would party at The Landing in St. Louis and yes, we even took a road trip to Joplin just to see what was there. So when I heard Joplin took a quote “direct hit” from a powerful tornado last night, it hit home.
The news reporter in me automatically sprang into action; getting as much information up here for you as fast as possible. I wrote up the facts as fast as I could and found as much video as I could in those first few hours to give y’all a better picture of what has happened to that wonderful city. The videos were devastating. But they pale in comparison to what I found and heard this morning.
It’s estimated 75% of the town is destroyed. Just obliterated. Officials now confirm (at 6:15 this morning) 89 people were killed by the multi-vortex E-F3 tornado. The city of Joplin has been declared a disaster area.
These are the most incredible videos, I think, of the deadly tornado as it hit Joplin and what the city looked like in the minutes and hours right after it tore up the town.
My heart goes out to the dozens of people who lost their lives, the hundreds who were hurt by it and the thousands who will never again look at a thunderstorm without being scared to death. I am so sorry.
First you hear the sirens:
It’s a terrifying sound. Those sirens. You know something is coming but the questions flow so quickly through your mind. What is it? Where is my family? Am I in its way? Where do I go? All the while you’re looking up and the sky and praying, “please not me”.
Riding the storm out:
A group of people ride the storm out in the back of a convenience store in Joplin. They start out in the back of the store until the massive tornado breaks all the window glass which is when they move to the safety of the walk in storage fridge. The video is mostly black but you can hear how intense the storm was and how frightening it was for these people to ride it out.
Tower cam view from KSNF in Joplin, Missouri:
The camera was rolling at KSNF when the powerful, multi-vortex, E-F3 tornado touched down.
Tower cam from another angle:
The tower cam at KOAM Channel 7 in Pittsburgh, Kansas caught the tornado from another angle
First on the scene:
The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes and their Great Tornado Hunt Crew were following the storm system that gave birth to this killer storm. The team arrived at “ground zero” within an hour of the tornado hitting Sunday evening.
You can hear the emotion in her voice as reporter Ashley Reynolds from KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, describes to viewers what has happened to the hospital and surrounding neighborhood in Joplin. You often hear the words, “it was flattened” when people talk about tornado damage. You’ll see what that means.
Looking down on what’s left:
After the sun went down a helicopter was finally able to go up and get a look at what little is left of Joplin.
The power of a tornado is something I’ll never, ever understand, get over, whatever you want to call it.
KYTV put up a link on their site with a slideshow of the debris that was scattered up to 100 miles away from Joplin, “ground zero” for the E-F3 tornado.
If you want to check on family you have in the Joplin, Missouri-Pittsburg, Kansas area contact the American Red Cross at their “Safe and Well” site.
There is already a Facebook page set up to help the victims of the disaster. You can find that on our Facebook page.
We all know it’s going to take months for Joplin to recover from this. For the people who call this city home recovery may take decades or never happen.
I’ve been lucky enough to have never been in a devastating storm like the ones we’ve seen this season. Heck, my biggest claim to fame is that I watched the June 8, 1982 tornado here in Evansville from the basement of Memorial High School and the tornado rip through Petersburg from Highway 57 in 1990 (which I’m shocked to say I found a video of)
I even missed the flooding of my home and hometown in Nashville, Tennessee in 2010, by a week. Believe me, I’m not bragging. Not by a long shot. I’m very, very lucky and appreciate that.
I know others haven’t been so lucky though. What’s your story?