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Joplin - 83 days later

  • Posted Aug. 14, 2011 by Larry Nelson Viewed 1604 times

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School starts next Wednesday in Joplin, Missouri, where a tornado 83 days ago cut a path of destruction 7 miles long and almost one mile wide through the city. Today over 60 members of Rotary clubs from Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas volunteered to help the schools get ready.

Rotarians gather to begin their volunteer work at Joplin area schools.

Mike Thompson, Elton Kirby, and Larry Nelson from Mountain Home, Arkansas, made the three hour drive to help the others.

Many boxes of new materials in a warehouse needed to be rearranged to make room for new shipments on their way to the schools.

This is the high school that was destroyed in May just minutes after the graduation ceremonies for the senior class. One of the graduating seniors was killed on the way home by the tornado.

This is typical of the remains of a neighborhood where nothing is left. The street we were on ran through the center of the devastation. The view to the other side was the same. After the storm, the debris was 8 to 9 feet deep, covering the streets and neighborhood. No street signs remained, and familiar homes and landmarks were GONE!

This section of a house is a rare sight. The foundation to the left is not necessarily the one that this house sat on.

90% of the debris from the destroyed buildings has removed now, but much remains.

We saw several other groups of volunteers working to pick up and sort through the debris that remains.

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    There are 6 comments, add yours!

    • # Moira

      Oh My goodness , great report though on the " volunteer boys and girls " helping to reconstruct the devastation.

      2011.08.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Helen

      The destruction is absolutely astonishing and completely unimaginable in a country like this where the weather is generally so benevolent. Good for you for jumping in to help rebuild.

      2011.08.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Jacki

      Interesting post, Larry. How long were you down there? It doesn't appear than anything is starting to be rebuilt??

      2011.08.15 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Marsha

      Really interesting post, Larry....thanks for sharing. Hard to imagine the devastation of a tornado unless you've seen it....unbelievable and it happens so quickly. Looks like Joplin's beginning to get back on its feet thanks to efforts like those of your organization.

      2011.08.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Felecia

      What devastation. Very touching that you care enough to actually do something about it Larry.

      2011.08.14 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Brenda Nelson

      Wonderful images and information. This brings tears to my eyes! I'm so proud of you for being a part of this effort to help these people rebuild their lives.

      2011.08.14 Edited Reply Cancel