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Hoosier

Devastating tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri

1,565 posts in this topic

"Ten for Joplin" Habitat for Humanity project is not complete. The families got the keys to their houses today in a ceremony that announced that MSSU has given scholarships to all the kids in the families. The project raised over $1 million dollars, it had initially had a goal of $800,000. The remaining money will go to Joplin Habitat for Humanity so they can build more houses.

321263_10150420930360209_93286195208_8483728_1385257539_n.jpg

*A St. Louis family is bringing "Joy to Joplin". The Monschein family had fundraisers and they gathered up a lot of Christmas decorations, ornaments, lights, etc..

http://www.joplinglo...s-Joy-to-Joplin

*Residents were urged to gather as many flower bulbs as they wanted. The organzation "America Responds with Love" donated 200,000 flower bulbs to Joplin residents.

http://www.joplinglo...at-parks-office

*Some 60,000+ "Thank You" cards that are going to be sent out to the volunteers who came to Joplin. Americorps is in charge of compiling a database of people that signed up to help in Joplin after the tornado. People that only left their email address and not their address will get e-cards. Residents can sign the cards at various locations.

http://www.joplinglo...u-to-volunteers

The cards feature a photo of two girls in front of a chalkboard that says “Thank you for loving us without even knowing us.”

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Today is the day............ It's been six months since the tornado wiped out 1/3rd of Joplin. Six months since it changed the landscape and took 160 lives. (+1 police officer due to lightning strike the next day) It seems like it was just yesterday that everything changed.

It's nice to see reconstruction going on all over the area though, we still lack trees in a lot of areas though until that construction is complete. I expect to see massive tree plantings next Spring.

This thread covers everything from right after the tornado and the confusion of what happened, to the 'search for JoMo', to the cleanup and rebuilding of Joplin. We can't stop tornadoes from hitting populated areas and destroying lives but we can learn from them. This thread provides a large amount of information of the entire process of recovering from a disaster such as this.

I'd like to thank the volunteers, people that donated, and even the people following this thread, as it's somewhat therapeutic for me.

------------------

If the weather is nice, there will be one tree dedicated today for the 161 trees that are to be planted at Cunningham Park in honor of the people that were lost to the winds. A community memorial will take place at Cunningham Park to reflect on what happened 6 months ago. There will be bands, choirs, speakers, and If it rains, then it will be held at MSSU.

http://www.joplinglo...nstrous-tornado

-------------------

Bricks from Joplin High School (with an imprint of "Hope High School") are going to be sold for $50 + shipping in a fundraiser for the schools tornado fund. You can also get a mug for $20, the announcement on that comes Dec 1st

.http://www.joplinglo...ding-fundraiser

-------------------

FEMA has released a 6 month progress report detailing how much they have spent on Joplin's recovery. The total comes to $174 million dollars. http://www.joplinglo...s-after-tornado

Here's a breakdown:

• Debris: President Barack Obama approved a removal operation to clear loose tornado debris from public rights of way and residential property in the hardest hit areas at a 90 percent federal cost share until Aug. 7. Gov. Jay Nixon appointed the Missouri National Guard to provide state oversight and coordination. The Army Corps of Engineers managed the debris operation. More than 1.2 million cubic yards of debris were removed from rights of way and 1,505 residential properties. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources disposed of 103,707 items requiring special disposal. An additional 303,425 cubic yards of debris were removed from public properties outside the heaviest hit area.

• Housing: FEMA identified rental properties within a reasonable commute of Joplin. It quickly became apparent that temporary housing units and community group sites would be required for displaced families. FEMA identified 586 households as eligible for and needing temporary housing. Currently, 559 households occupy temporary housing units. A total of 598 mobile home pads are available for placement of FEMA units.

• Critical structures: FEMA focused on building temporary modular structures to replace two fire stations, and nine temporary structures, including a mobile hospital, for St. John’s Mercy Hospital. Public assistance grants for $4,054,329 (federal share) have been obligated for 78 projects for emergency services, and repair or replacement of public property damaged or destroyed by the tornado.

• Schools: The initial focus was on reopening Joplin’s public schools by Aug. 17. FEMA paid for the installation of 129 modular classrooms, including special classrooms for chemistry, science, horticulture, music, art and an industrial laboratory. It also provided 67 safe rooms and support quarters, including three full kitchens, dry goods storage and walk-in freezers. Five new athletic fields were built to replace unusable fields at Joplin High School.

FEMA’s Individual and Households Program has two sub-programs: a housing program and an other-needs assistance program. Now, $20.2 million has been approved under IHP. The housing assistance program approved $7,614,216 for 2,975 households, according to the FEMA report.The other-needs program provided assistance with disaster-related essential needs not provided by other assistance programs, including medical assistance, dental assistance, funeral expenses, household items, tools required for a job, and necessary education materials to replace those lost in the disaster. The program approved $12,582,961 for 2,636 households.

FEMA specialists assisted with the formation of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, which encouraged residents’ participation in planning and rebuilding. The team is composed of city officials, business leaders, community leaders and residents. Through the summer, the panel was the host for several public meetings to gather residents’ views and suggestions. From those sessions, the team developed recovery and rebuilding priorities. On Nov. 7, the team presented its report to the Joplin City Council. It was unanimously accepted.

Livewire's "Miracle of the Human Spirit" that will be unveiled today at the ceremony:

I probably forgot to include this earlier. This is a song Kenny Foster wrote for Joplin. Kenny is from Joplin and his parents still live here. They lived over by the high school on the east side of it and were trapped in their basement.

His story can be found here:http://wecreatemusic...-Joplin-MO.aspx

PS: The 'formatting' on this forum seriously sucks.

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Around 1,200 people attended the 6 month memorial this evening at Cunningham Park in frigid conditions. (ok so it was like 40-45)

This fountain was dedicated. It has 5 jets on the top, 22 on the 2nd level, 11 on the bottom.

313093_10150427714550209_93286195208_8506577_887777389_n.jpg

A plaque with the names of those that died:

374317_10150427720345209_93286195208_8506649_1782916204_n.jpg

The first of 161 trees that will be planted in Cunningham Park in honor of the dead.

313275_10150427719630209_93286195208_8506642_1821931277_n.jpg

The Thank You cards that were mailed out to volunteers look like this:

384922_10150427714955209_93286195208_8506582_568156273_n.jpg

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Greg Forbes ranks the Joplin tornado the 3rd worst in US History.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x229375934/Expert-ranks-tornado-possibly-as-third-worst-in-U-S-history

JOPLIN, Mo. — Greg Forbes, the severe-weather expert with The Weather Channel, has crunched the numbers to offer a convincing argument that the May 22 tornado in Joplin was the third worst on record in U.S. history.

*Forbes then combined the number of deaths and the amount of damage to come up with a ranking of worst tornadoes. The worst was the Tri-State Tornado on March 18, 1925. It killed 695 along a 219-mile path in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, the longest on record. The second worst was the St. Louis tornado of 1896, which killed 255 people. The third worst was the Joplin tornado.

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Greg Forbes ranks the Joplin tornado the 3rd worst in US History.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x229375934/Expert-ranks-tornado-possibly-as-third-worst-in-U-S-history

JOPLIN, Mo. — Greg Forbes, the severe-weather expert with The Weather Channel, has crunched the numbers to offer a convincing argument that the May 22 tornado in Joplin was the third worst on record in U.S. history.

*Forbes then combined the number of deaths and the amount of damage to come up with a ranking of worst tornadoes. The worst was the Tri-State Tornado on March 18, 1925. It killed 695 along a 219-mile path in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, the longest on record. The second worst was the St. Louis tornado of 1896, which killed 255 people. The third worst was the Joplin tornado.

Not that my opinion matters as much as Dr. Forbes' but I agree with that assessment. Tri-State is in a class by itself and then there are some interchangeable ones farther down the list. I think one could actually make a case that Joplin is #2 but it comes down to how heavily one weights the number of fatalities in years past. Given relatively similar damages when adjusted for inflation, are the 255 St Louis deaths of 1896 more impressive than the ~160 Joplin deaths?

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Great thread to read just before thanksgiving.. Much appreciation, JOMO

I enjoy having everything in one place and this thread is a running history of something that will be remembered here for a long, long, time. I figured I'm already finding the information, I might as well share it so others who are interested can see what happens when an EF-5 tornado comes barreling through your area.

There's a lot of people who will have their first Thanksgiving and Christmas without loved ones due to the tornado. They say time heals all wounds, but there are some wounds that will never heal, and the scars will remain forever. Enjoy the time with your families, even if you don't always see eye to eye and argue, because in a matter of minutes your entire life can be changed and they can be gone forever.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Story about WIll Norton's family and how they are dealing with the loss of Will.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x646422680/Norton-family-continuing-Wills-tradition

Will Norton's last 9 months of life in Twitter form:

http://www.joplinglobe.com/willnorton

Memories of 3 families that had loved ones that died, including one who would have a birthday today. Glenn and Lori Holland didn't live that far from me.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1295783806/Families-share-memories-of-previous-Thanksgivings-with-those-killed-in-tornado

Now for some updated 6 month pics... these are pics posted in this thread, then updated at the 6 month mark:

This was taken 2 days after the tornado.

slabs2cleaned.jpg

And 6 months later, the twin rental houses are back:

2dubbm9.jpg

Other pics... one of this house going up:

newhouseturncleaned.jpg

And at the 6 month mark

ilaxch.jpg

This was a 2 story house that had lost (blown away) part of it's upper story, this was as it was being reconstructed:

rebuild2storycleaned.jpg

And 6 months after, the front is finished. I wasn't sure how it would look when he told me he was going to make it rock, it looks pretty nice.

s2418j.jpg

And this entire block is rebuilding pretty well... this is what it looked like after the tornado and clearing of debris:

maftercleaned.jpg

At the 6 month mark, this pic was taken on the opposite side of the street looking forward toward the location the previous picture was taken. You can count 6 skeletons of houses going up:

122jjtv.jpg

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Was in Joplin yesterday afternoon and I am overwhelmed by how quickly things are back up and going. Being there and helping out in the days after the tornado it is so unreal to watch the community bounce back as quickly as it has. It seems like everytime we go there something new is back. This is the first time I have noticed significant housing work... which is a great sign. Sure, you need the businesses, but the homes and the people inside them are what sustain the community. While the scars and emotional wounds will still be there for quite some time, it is great to see the power of the human resolve at work in SW Missouri.

Thanks JoMo for keeping this thread updated with all of the latest.

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Thanks for coming to help out Wx 24/7.

Joplin Globe did a LOOOOOOOOONG article on how they have to rethink what to do during a tornado at schools now. They talked with William Gallus from Iowa State, Bill Davis with the NWS and the school officials. They included 5 videos from JHS as well, 2 I had not seen before.

Great article all in all:

http://www.joplinglo...ng-May-22-storm

On Franklin Tech:

“I think it had a second surge there,” Davis said. “Estimates are that at Franklin Tech, the winds were up to 200 miles per hour, or at least around 180-190 miles per hour. There was increasing intensity there, kind of a sweet spot for the tornado, where part of the tornado was a little more destructive.”

Gallus, who has observed a lot of tornado damage around the country, said Franklin Tech also would have been a dangerous place to be, in part because rebar didn’t reach high enough into the wall or deep enough into the foundation to hold the building together. “You can picture walls on a hinge — it wasn’t enough to support the walls with those kinds of winds and forces on them,” he said. “There should be at least 18 to 24 inches of rebar extending into the concrete floors and into the walls. I think it would have been a horrible experience if they had been in school.”

The two vids I had not seen, looks like it would have been pretty hellish:

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Extreme Makeover Home Edition (Joplin Edition) will air Friday, Jan 13th. It is scheduled to be a 2 hour long show, with a 1 hour long behind the scenes before the show. Mark your calendars!

$635,000 in grants have been given to Joplin to replace the park equipment at the schools and the Parks from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

http://www.koamtv.com/story/16137514/department-of-natural-resources-awards-635000-in-scrap-tire-grants-for-playground-projects-in-joplin

Will Norton's monument/gravestone is finished, it's 6'3", the same as he was.

313580_225654770837940_150592665010818_528176_360255147_n.jpg

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Been a few days....

Demolition started today on Franklin Technology Center and Irving Elementary school. It may be a short little bit before demolition begins on Joplin High School due to asbestos issues.

The back of Irving pre-demolition.

383118_10150460966325209_93286195208_8609449_484175316_n.jpg

And part of the front of Franklin Tech:

378380_10150460966055209_93286195208_8609447_404041931_n.jpg

The first two pieces of St. John's component hospital arrived yesterday. This will be a concrete and steel structure that will house around 110 beds.

They have gone from Tent -> Modular -> Component -> Actual Hospital in 2014-2015.

384865_10150457333975209_93286195208_8597715_557585821_n.jpg

Jasper County sheriffs deputies will finally get their overtime pay for working the tornado.

http://www.koamtv.com/story/16213139/sheriffs-deputies-to-finally-get-paid-for-tornado-overtime

The Joplin City Council is recommending 8 housing projects. Developers are getting $122 million in tax credits to build. Some developers wanted to build outside of Joplin and some wanted to build affordable housing in expensive neighborhoods. The council rejected those bids and selected these but it's up to the Missouri Housing Development Commission.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/tornadomay2011/x1331365045/City-Council-backs-eight-housing-projects-proposed-in-storm-zone

NIST has interviewed nearly 100 people (probably over that now) about the tornado in interviews, the report will be released next Spring:

http://www.joplinglobe.com/tornadomay2011/x1202029522/Researchers-seeking-more-storm-accounts

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JoMo, this is certainly an historic thread and thanks for all your contributions. One thing I was wondering. Did the tornado hit or miss many hotel/motel complexes along its path through the area? I don't remember reading too much about that, mainly St. John's, the schools, homes, and retail.

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JoMo, this is certainly an historic thread and thanks for all your contributions. One thing I was wondering. Did the tornado hit or miss many hotel/motel complexes along its path through the area? I don't remember reading too much about that, mainly St. John's, the schools, homes, and retail.

The 'hotel district' is pretty much right along and south of 32nd street and Range Line. The track of the tornado went near 20th and Range Line so there wasn't much damage that far south at that time.

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I just read this story, they 'track' the storm system that would cause the Joplin tornado from it's 'birth' to it's death.

http://www.kansascit...racing-the.html

So late Sunday afternoon, when Andy Foster saw a bright pink stain on a radar scan, he knew this was no isolated twister taking out a chicken house on the edge of town. Pieces of houses, churches and barns had been blasted 10,000 feet into the sky over Joplin.

“That’s when our hearts sank.’’

*Foster placed a third and final call to Stammer.

Whatever is out there, it’s headed straight for Joplin.

*The forecasters in Springfield stared at the radar in disbelief: The messy blob from minutes earlier had morphed into a near perfect comma shape, with wind speeds maxed out in opposite directions.

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The Police Officer, that was photographed carrying the little girl, and that was in the Top 3 Weather Heroes on The Weather Channel in this post above has resigned:

Apparently a day after the Christmas Makeover, he resigned because he 'rescued' a couple of bottles of whiskey from a destroyed liquor store.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1561648994/Joplin-officer-resigned-amid-conduct-probe

---

Quinton Anderson lost both parents and nearly his own life in the tornado. He's a finalist for the Rudy Award (football) for a scholarship. Despite being unable to play due to leg injuries in the tornado, he showed up to every practice and game to cheer his team on.

http://www.highschoolrudyawards.com/content/224_73/FINALISTS.aspx

He received an early Christmas Present from Relief Spark, a new car. He had only requested two minor things since he didn't want someone buying him something expensive.

http://fourstateshomepage.com/fulltext-sports/?watch=1&nxd_id=241227

---

This house is over by me. I've noticed Christian Disaster Relief trucks over there, so I thought the guy was a pastor or something, turns out he was underinsured so a bunch of church organizations got together and helped rebuild his house for him.

http://www.newstalkkzrg.com/Joplin-Family-Gets-New-Home/11711744

---

And 5,000 gifts were given to children in Will Norton's honor. Relief Spark and the St. Louis Crew organized and gave the gifts out.

http://fourstateshomepage.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=241197

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I just read this story, they 'track' the storm system that would cause the Joplin tornado from it's 'birth' to it's death.

http://www.kansascit...racing-the.html

So late Sunday afternoon, when Andy Foster saw a bright pink stain on a radar scan, he knew this was no isolated twister taking out a chicken house on the edge of town. Pieces of houses, churches and barns had been blasted 10,000 feet into the sky over Joplin.

“That’s when our hearts sank.’’

*Foster placed a third and final call to Stammer.

Whatever is out there, it’s headed straight for Joplin.

*The forecasters in Springfield stared at the radar in disbelief: The messy blob from minutes earlier had morphed into a near perfect comma shape, with wind speeds maxed out in opposite directions.

I can't stop re-reading that story. Very chilling & sad.

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Coca-Cola delivered the $25,000 check that was earned by people voting for Cunningham Park in the Live Positively campaign, today.

This was a pic I posted of the park as Lowe's was working on the bridge....

28t856t.jpg

And here's the finished product minus the trees that will be planted in the Spring.

383145_10150481506560209_93286195208_8664968_1705457808_n.jpg

Kansas City Chiefs staffers/front office surprised 4 Elementary schools today and they brought gifts for the kids. Each kid got a present from their wish list.

380517_10150480963370209_93286195208_8663178_210868483_n.jpg

Wal-Mart gave $10,000 to Misti's Mission, a local relief organization that sprang up after the tornado.

Bank of America gave St. Johns Medical Center $100,000.

Also, Extreme Makeover Home Edition (the show) has been canceled. The Joplin episode on January 13th is the last show that will air, it is also the series 200th episode.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/15/extreme-makeover-home-edition-canceled/

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Also, Extreme Makeover Home Edition (the show) has been canceled. The Joplin episode on January 13th is the last show that will air, it is also the series 200th episode.

Great way to finalize it.

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Better add these before I forget. These are from the KC Star.

Housing troubles mount, especially for Joplin’s poor

http://www.kansascit...especially.html

Dubious deals add to tragedy in Joplin

http://www.kansascit...tragedy-in.html

Life still in limbo for many people in Joplin

http://www.kansascit...or-many-on.html

The last article is over in my area... well Kingsdale/Winfield area. Kingsdale is still pretty bare, but Winfield is rebuilding back nicely, slowly.. but nicely. I've been taking monthly pictures of the area since June or July.

Edit: And yet another one.

Joplin still bears scars of deadly tornado

http://www.kansascit...-of-deadly.html

And another:

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/17/3325756/a-city-rising-from-the-rubble.html

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Mercy/St. John's Hospital donated 12.5 acres of land to the Joplin School District. The school district plans to do a mine study on the area then build a combined Irving/Emerson elementary school. Irving was destroyed in the tornado and Emerson sustained damage. They also plan to combine nearby Duneweg/Duquense schools into a new school near East Middle School which is also being rebuilt. St. Johns will be demolished starting in February, but due to possible mine shafts they will have to take it down via wrecking ball which will take them until April/May, then construction will begin on the school. JHS/Franklin Tech will also be combined. The school district will have a $21.3 million shortfall due to the construction, which of course will probably be more by the time construction is complete.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1996144960/Joplin-district-to-merge-elementary-schools

Cunningham Park gets a lot of news but Parr Hill Park was also destroyed in the tornado. There are some big plans for Parr Hill including skate pods, a small and large dog park, and a splash pad. All were requested by residents before the tornado happened. City of Joplin has entered a Reader's Digest voting contest and say they will use the funds won from this contest to help pay for those improvements at Parr Hill Park.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1759194586/Plan-calls-for-new-features-at-Parr-Hill

You can sign up and vote here:

http://wehearyouamerica.readersdigest.com/index.jsp

Joplin High School vocal department won $25,000 from a similar voting contest that was put on by 'Glee' the tv show. One of the Grand Prize $50,000 winners was Phil Campbell HS in Alabama, which was destroyed by the Apr 27 outbreak.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1996144984/JHS-vocalists-win-25-000-through-Glee-contest

An Indianapolis, IN endowment group donated $1.5 million to the Joplin Recovery Fund that is earmarked for affordable housing.

http://www.newstalkkzrg.com/Joplin-Recovery-Fund-Receives--1-5-million-Grant/11788061

Saw this letter to Santa on Twitter.

10epqty.jpg

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7 months today, a couple of pic updates from pics I took earlier after the tornado.

This is what this house looked like in July. It says "Do Not touch"

donottouchcleaned.jpg

And someone finally decided to touch it and now it looks like this, complete with garland decoration on the front bush.

29gokm0.jpg

This is what the area looked like after cleanup of the debris and demolition.

maftercleaned.jpg

Same side of the street but farther back so I could get some of the other houses taken today.

11ragsl.jpg

Same street but looking up the street... this was a picture taken just last month.

122jjtv.jpg

And a pic taken a month later, today.

1589jfb.jpg

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You know I just remembered tonight that a street in the tornado disaster area always had a luminaria. (candles in bags that were along the street on Christmas Eve)

People would drive down that street with their lights off and the bags were quite a sight to see since nearly everyone participated for a few blocks.

However, people are starting new traditions and the Joplin Globe has a story in the paper on Christmas about new beginnings and traditions.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1477832003/A-Home-for-the-Holidays

The last story caught my eye as it took place just down the road from me.

Below is an excerpt:

Enough of the trees remained that once the debris and foundation had all been cleared, they would provide a backdrop for the one question that would start Levels on her way to a new start, a new life, a new future: “Will you marry me?”

“We got the lot clear, finally, and all that was left were those two trees,” he said.

On Sept. 15, the couple returned to the lot for what they decided probably would be the last time.

It was there — not on bended knee, because it was raining — that he asked her to marry him.

---

​I inadvertently got a picture of those two trees the other day.

1twklh.jpg

This is what it looked like before:

1415q1l.jpg

---

I know a posted the story of a woman that was trapped under debris in Dillons grocery store, Desiree Rodgers. She was pregnant at the time and they thought she had lost the baby. Well, she had the baby on Friday, Dec 23rd.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1477832406/Tornado-victims-celebrate-birth-of-little-storm-survivor

Excerpt:

Rodgers was pinned in a squatting position beneath slabs of concrete when the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin destroyed Dillons. About a half hour into her ordeal, a woman who had been stuck in the debris escaped and flagged down a Carthage fire crew that had arrived to help Joplin rescuers.

Carthage fire Capt. Jason Martin said last summer Rodgers was trapped with over a ton of debris on her back. The debris was so heavy that the jacks the rescuers used to lift it faltered at first but then dug in and gave about two inches of lift, enough for the firemen to slide Rodgers out.

“She wouldn’t have lived much longer,” Martin said. “She couldn’t breathe because of the amount of weight on her.”

Merry Christmas from Joplin!

krkg4.jpg

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Hey JoMo, Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you & all the people of Joplin. I talked to my Mom last night & she just broke down. She said the will and fortitude of the people is just so overwhelming. Every time she starts to feel sorry for herself she hops in her car and drives around town. She has lived in Joplin for about 2 years now and she says she will never leave because of the people. Bless you all & may this coming year be one of more rebuilding and healing.

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Thanks for the Christmas wishes. It was a beautiful 55 degrees here today. Might as well be warm if it isn't going to snow.

New York Times:

For Joplin, A Love Letter in Ruins

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/us/joplin-mo-ponders-future-of-a-love-letter-in-ruins.html

And stltoday.com both had stories about Joplin today:

How 80,000 volunteers showed Joplin, Mo., that 'the world cared'

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/how-volunteers-showed-joplin-mo-that-the-world-cared/article_ceede6f5-7025-56d9-b0c3-00444234db5e.html

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Merry Christmas Jomo and to everyone in Joplin!

reading that letter to Santa, it's hard not to put tears in your eyes seeing it, I hope that the city can plant as many trees as possible to help bring back some shade if nothing else in the summertime!

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