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Hoosier

Devastating tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri

1,565 posts in this topic

Using the data released by the Springfield office (as linked above). I wrote up a blog post for ustornadoes.com about the 2-year anniversary. Includes some radar images, and a few maps.

 

http://www.ustornadoes.com/2013/05/22/joplin-missouri-ef5-tornado-may-22-2011/

 

Thank you to JoMo, who took the time to compile a list of videos taken along the path of the tornado. I used some of them in one of the maps.

 

Thinking of Joplin today.

 

Your blog was tweeted by someone I follow & I read it there. Great write up. My Mom said it was a fairly somber day in Joplin yesterday. (heightened by the events in Moore I'm sure) After moving there from the Ft Lauderdale area. She is more certain than ever she will spend the rest of her life in Joplin. The will of the people there along with the kindness just over whelm her. She had to stop by Wal Mart yesterday & a random group of people where collecting the same supplies JoMo spoke about to send to Moore. She pitched in and did her part & then just broke down. When I talked to her last night she was just astounded by the acts of the people in the Midwest.

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Your blog was tweeted by someone I follow & I read it there. Great write up. My Mom said it was a fairly somber day in Joplin yesterday. (heightened by the events in Moore I'm sure) After moving there from the Ft Lauderdale area. She is more certain than ever she will spend the rest of her life in Joplin. The will of the people there along with the kindness just over whelm her. She had to stop by Wal Mart yesterday & a random group of people where collecting the same supplies JoMo spoke about to send to Moore. She pitched in and did her part & then just broke down. When I talked to her last night she was just astounded by the acts of the people in the Midwest.

Thanks for visiting the site! Your mom is a good person :)

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Your blog was tweeted by someone I follow & I read it there. Great write up. My Mom said it was a fairly somber day in Joplin yesterday. (heightened by the events in Moore I'm sure) After moving there from the Ft Lauderdale area. She is more certain than ever she will spend the rest of her life in Joplin. The will of the people there along with the kindness just over whelm her. She had to stop by Wal Mart yesterday & a random group of people where collecting the same supplies JoMo spoke about to send to Moore. She pitched in and did her part & then just broke down. When I talked to her last night she was just astounded by the acts of the people in the Midwest.

 

:thumbsup:

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This was from the weather channel about the new hospital. Even shows the new 250 MPH glass testing.

 

 

 

I thought this was a pretty good little summary of the last 2 years or so. Includes video of the Will Norton Memorial Field that just opened. 

 

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Hello. I'm resident in the Joplin area and I wanted to share a few thoughts I have. I am not a weather expert, and I have only been learning about weather in SWMO and the area the last few years. I started learning because as I was able to see weather broadcasts and warnings on TV, I really wanted to zoom in on the area closer to where I lived. Weathermen/women can't always do that when there are multiple storms affecting thousands of people across an area like we seem to have in the area. Therefore I started reading about weather on forums such as this. Thanks everyone for the information in this thread. Before that I bought GR2Analyst and picked up multiple radios to listen to spotters. I watched the SPC forecasts and tried to stay updated.

 

Joplin Tornado - I live on the north side of Joplin. I knew there was potential for major storms west of the area. My son wanted to play put-put golf that day. I told him sorry, we are staying close to home due to potentially bad weather. I watched storms approach from KS and OK. One cell looked like it had circulation and I think they did have sirens go off in Carl Junction or in the NW area of Joplin, This was the same time or right after the first sirens went off in Joplin. Then BOOM I was watching radar updates and I could not believe what I saw. Looking outside south towards the tornado all I could see what dark skies, lots of rain, and wind all around. I was a few miles north of the tornado.

 

I posted my experiences on another weather forum thread (let me know if I can mention it here)

 

Here are a few things I want to share and get thoughts on...

 

- Siren fatigue - I am not sure what to do about this. I have experienced this Spring, just a few weeks ago May 20th I believe, when the sirens go off now some towns have cops that drive around and use a different toned siren on their cars to warn everyone as well. I heard city tornado sirens are to warn people outside and are not meant for everyone to hear inside, I don't know if that is true. However now we have sirens and cop cars driving around with sirens on.

 

The May 20th incident there was a large area with a tornado warning. It looked to me like the circulation and tornado was down by Seneca and there was not anything close to Joplin. On the TV the weather woman said they are getting a lot of calls asking why the sirens keep going off. She said while the area is in a tornado warning, the sirens will turn on for period of time, then turn off. After 10 minutes they run on again and repeat. This will continue until the area is no longer in a tornado warning. Now I am not sure how many tornado warnings there are, but I can see why people have said they are turned on all the time.

 

- Small tornadoes - Another thing I have experienced myself is a wall of storms moving across the area. A thunderstorm warning is issued, sometimes with hail confirmation. These storms happen quite often. They don't look like anything unusual. Then a small EF0 or EF1 tornado spins off it and causes damage. Sometimes the sirens turn on after this occurs as the tornado is not spotted until damage has occurred. When you combine this with the item above, you have overly amount of warnings for potential large tornadoes and potentially no warnings for small tornadoes. Again I have no idea what to do except let our experts keep studying and try to learn how to predict better. I can see how people living outside major tornado areas would think it seems silly people that live in tornado valley and other high risk areas are not informed more. The truth is you just never know even today when a tornado is going to hit. The only thing we seem to know is if a potentially large tornado COULD hit.

 

- Hills & Trees - Growing up in the midwest plains north of here it was different. When we had storms we could look out across fields and see them coming. We could see funnel clouds, etc. There are many places in the Ozarks where it really is hard to see anything coming, except when it is right on you. There is a reason many storm chasers don't like to go over to Missouri/Arkansas, it's hard to see the tornadoes unless you are farther north. We rely on spotters to confirm tornadoes or rely on radar. I think sometimes "radar indicates..." warnings are also so numerous people don't take them seriously.

 

Weather Outlooks - When people look in the newspaper, online, or on TV, the weather reports state thunderstorms possible, or strong thunderstorms possible. Is this enough information? Shouldn't the experts agree to some kind of scale and rating system? I realize then people will just say well the sirens are going off but the news said it was a low threat. However if SPC has your area in a high risk for tornadoes or some of the other rating systems out there, shouldn't we have some scale to report along side the thunderstorms? I knew the weekend of the Joplin tornado it was not a good day to be outside, but did a majority of people know this? I don't think the general public knew then or knows today the same potential risk that people in the weather community know and talk about. On weather forums we are surrounded by people looking at data and making predictions. Then there are people like me that read this and tell our friends. There are a lot of people outside these circles of communication that don't know the escalated risk.

 

- Local Folks - I don't know if it goes back to the mining days, when people from all over with different ethnic groups had to work together, rely on each other to make sure they were safe, that has rooted a fellowship with people in the area. Many people are very nice, and they help each other out. This was shown during the disaster. However I could see that when I moved here before then and it is one of the reason I like it in this area. The people are great.The surrounding communities and then farther away from all over, people were there to help. The local folks will never forget this. Thank you.

 

Finally I have to say, that storm warnings scare the crap out of me now. I used to watch in awe of the weather growing up. I was scared but also never felt I was not safe. Even with looking at our warning system and potential changes, the truth is if you are in a monster storm you could die. It was posted here that reports are a majority of the people that were deceased from the Joplin tornado were in their homes probably taking cover. Having that knowledge, experiencing damage in different tornadoes, and not knowing if a warning is going to be a tornado or if some high winds are going to spin one off and I will not get a warning, makes for an unsettling feeling. When I watch the radar during the Spring and I look at Oklahoma, I don't think I could take living there. I can barely see myself staying here. Even if it's one in 200 million chance.

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Hello. I'm resident in the Joplin area and I wanted to share a few thoughts I have. I am not a weather expert, and I have only been learning about weather in SWMO and the area the last few years. I started learning because as I was able to see weather broadcasts and warnings on TV, I really wanted to zoom in on the area closer to where I lived. Weathermen/women can't always do that when there are multiple storms affecting thousands of people across an area like we seem to have in the area. Therefore I started reading about weather on forums such as this. Thanks everyone for the information in this thread. Before that I bought GR2Analyst and picked up multiple radios to listen to spotters. I watched the SPC forecasts and tried to stay updated.

 

Joplin Tornado - I live on the north side of Joplin. I knew there was potential for major storms west of the area. My son wanted to play put-put golf that day. I told him sorry, we are staying close to home due to potentially bad weather. I watched storms approach from KS and OK. One cell looked like it had circulation and I think they did have sirens go off in Carl Junction or in the NW area of Joplin, This was the same time or right after the first sirens went off in Joplin. Then BOOM I was watching radar updates and I could not believe what I saw. Looking outside south towards the tornado all I could see what dark skies, lots of rain, and wind all around. I was a few miles north of the tornado.

 

I posted my experiences on another weather forum thread (let me know if I can mention it here)

 

Here are a few things I want to share and get thoughts on...

 

- Siren fatigue - I am not sure what to do about this. I have experienced this Spring, just a few weeks ago May 20th I believe, when the sirens go off now some towns have cops that drive around and use a different toned siren on their cars to warn everyone as well. I heard city tornado sirens are to warn people outside and are not meant for everyone to hear inside, I don't know if that is true. However now we have sirens and cop cars driving around with sirens on.

 

The May 20th incident there was a large area with a tornado warning. It looked to me like the circulation and tornado was down by Seneca and there was not anything close to Joplin. On the TV the weather woman said they are getting a lot of calls asking why the sirens keep going off. She said while the area is in a tornado warning, the sirens will turn on for period of time, then turn off. After 10 minutes they run on again and repeat. This will continue until the area is no longer in a tornado warning. Now I am not sure how many tornado warnings there are, but I can see why people have said they are turned on all the time.

 

- Small tornadoes - Another thing I have experienced myself is a wall of storms moving across the area. A thunderstorm warning is issued, sometimes with hail confirmation. These storms happen quite often. They don't look like anything unusual. Then a small EF0 or EF1 tornado spins off it and causes damage. Sometimes the sirens turn on after this occurs as the tornado is not spotted until damage has occurred. When you combine this with the item above, you have overly amount of warnings for potential large tornadoes and potentially no warnings for small tornadoes. Again I have no idea what to do except let our experts keep studying and try to learn how to predict better. I can see how people living outside major tornado areas would think it seems silly people that live in tornado valley and other high risk areas are not informed more. The truth is you just never know even today when a tornado is going to hit. The only thing we seem to know is if a potentially large tornado COULD hit.

 

- Hills & Trees - Growing up in the midwest plains north of here it was different. When we had storms we could look out across fields and see them coming. We could see funnel clouds, etc. There are many places in the Ozarks where it really is hard to see anything coming, except when it is right on you. There is a reason many storm chasers don't like to go over to Missouri/Arkansas, it's hard to see the tornadoes unless you are farther north. We rely on spotters to confirm tornadoes or rely on radar. I think sometimes "radar indicates..." warnings are also so numerous people don't take them seriously.

 

Weather Outlooks - When people look in the newspaper, online, or on TV, the weather reports state thunderstorms possible, or strong thunderstorms possible. Is this enough information? Shouldn't the experts agree to some kind of scale and rating system? I realize then people will just say well the sirens are going off but the news said it was a low threat. However if SPC has your area in a high risk for tornadoes or some of the other rating systems out there, shouldn't we have some scale to report along side the thunderstorms? I knew the weekend of the Joplin tornado it was not a good day to be outside, but did a majority of people know this? I don't think the general public knew then or knows today the same potential risk that people in the weather community know and talk about. On weather forums we are surrounded by people looking at data and making predictions. Then there are people like me that read this and tell our friends. There are a lot of people outside these circles of communication that don't know the escalated risk.

 

- Local Folks - I don't know if it goes back to the mining days, when people from all over with different ethnic groups had to work together, rely on each other to make sure they were safe, that has rooted a fellowship with people in the area. Many people are very nice, and they help each other out. This was shown during the disaster. However I could see that when I moved here before then and it is one of the reason I like it in this area. The people are great.The surrounding communities and then farther away from all over, people were there to help. The local folks will never forget this. Thank you.

 

Finally I have to say, that storm warnings scare the crap out of me now. I used to watch in awe of the weather growing up. I was scared but also never felt I was not safe. Even with looking at our warning system and potential changes, the truth is if you are in a monster storm you could die. It was posted here that reports are a majority of the people that were deceased from the Joplin tornado were in their homes probably taking cover. Having that knowledge, experiencing damage in different tornadoes, and not knowing if a warning is going to be a tornado or if some high winds are going to spin one off and I will not get a warning, makes for an unsettling feeling. When I watch the radar during the Spring and I look at Oklahoma, I don't think I could take living there. I can barely see myself staying here. Even if it's one in 200 million chance.

 

As an aspiring emergency manager I like your comments. I'll admit I think meteorologists need to be more up front about tornadoes as well. Every warning says "strong rotation" when clearly it's obvious the difference between a baby couplet and a large mesocyclone in an atmosphere ripe for violent twisters. 

 

I also know you're worry for all storm warnings. Right after a nearby community in 2010 was hit by an EF4 it was unreal how many calls and texts and tweets I would get about an approaching basic severe thunderstorm. One buddy of mine went to the basement! It's crazy how gunshy people are of the weather after a major tornado rips through. I mean just this year the skywarn meeting in that county had 250 people attend, that's insane for a very rural county

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As an aspiring emergency manager I like your comments. I'll admit I think meteorologists need to be more up front about tornadoes as well. Every warning says "strong rotation" when clearly it's obvious the difference between a baby couplet and a large mesocyclone in an atmosphere ripe for violent twisters. 

 

I also know you're worry for all storm warnings. Right after a nearby community in 2010 was hit by an EF4 it was unreal how many calls and texts and tweets I would get about an approaching basic severe thunderstorm. One buddy of mine went to the basement! It's crazy how gunshy people are of the weather after a major tornado rips through. I mean just this year the skywarn meeting in that county had 250 people attend, that's insane for a very rural county

 

Nothing wrong with the basement for a severe t-storm.  It's not "severe" unless it has winds 58+.  I think your point would be better made if the word severe were removed.

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This is an update to one of the stories right after the tornado about Lage Grigsby and Mason Lillard. They are young cousins that were in a truck at Home Depot when they were hit by the tornado. Lage suffered a traumatic brain injury and wasn't expected to make it as his skull was fractured and he actually had brain matter oozing out of the crack that was contaminated with gravel and other debris. Mason was impaled from her shoulder through her lung and down out her backside and had to be cut out of the truck. Lage had nearly 1/4 of his brain removed. When Lage came out of his medically induced coma, he couldn't walk or talk and was thought to have the mentality of an 8 year old. Doctors weren't sure he'd recover.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/09/3004523/mending-joplins-children.html

 

 

Fast forward two years......   Mason has had 11 surgeries with 1 more to go. She has scoliosis due to her injuries but other than that, she's fine. Lage has very little use of his right arm and he wears a leg brace but other than that, he's doing well. He rides four-wheelers and has his permit and is looking forward to getting his drivers license. 

http://www.miamiok.com/news/article_7c23f309-8a16-5f00-81b9-af54c131520d.html

 

 

 

PepsiCo has sent volunteers along with $500,000 to Joplin's Habitat for Humanity. 71 houses built by Habitat since the tornado and counting.

http://www.koamtv.com/story/22540302/pepsico-habitat-build-homes-in-joplin

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This is an update to one of the stories right after the tornado about Lage Grigsby and Mason Lillard. They are young cousins that were in a truck at Home Depot when they were hit by the tornado. Lage suffered a traumatic brain injury and wasn't expected to make it as his skull was fractured and he actually had brain matter oozing out of the crack that was contaminated with gravel and other debris. Mason was impaled from her shoulder through her lung and down out her backside and had to be cut out of the truck. Lage had nearly 1/4 of his brain removed. When Lage came out of his medically induced coma, he couldn't walk or talk and was thought to have the mentality of an 8 year old. Doctors weren't sure he'd recover.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/09/3004523/mending-joplins-children.html

 

 

Fast forward two years......   Mason has had 11 surgeries with 1 more to go. She has scoliosis due to her injuries but other than that, she's fine. Lage has very little use of his right arm and he wears a leg brace but other than that, he's doing well. He rides four-wheelers and has his permit and is looking forward to getting his drivers license. 

http://www.miamiok.com/news/article_7c23f309-8a16-5f00-81b9-af54c131520d.html

 

 

 

PepsiCo has sent volunteers along with $500,000 to Joplin's Habitat for Humanity. 71 houses built by Habitat since the tornado and counting.

http://www.koamtv.com/story/22540302/pepsico-habitat-build-homes-in-joplin

Thanks for the update JoMo! The amazing stories continue in Joplin. These stories brought tears to my eyes. I guess miracles do happen. Keep the stories coming.

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The ASCE report for the Joplin tornado has been released. It found that most of the structures in the path were poorly constructed. 83% of the damage was EF-2, 14% of the damage was EF-3, and 4% of the damage was EF-4. There were no structures built to withstand an EF-5 in the path. Flying debris made the damage much worse. Maximum winds were still near 200-208 MPH. The ASCE recommended hurricane straps to tie the roof on, which is something all new homes in Joplin must have now.

 

http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x120729257/Civil-engineers-release-study-of-Joplin-tornado-damage

 

 

Last of the FEMA trailers leaving FEMAville.

 

“I’ve been involved with 20 direct housing sites of all different sizes, from 20 in Oregon to Hurricane Katrina,” Fiorini said. “I have to say, Joplin is what I would call a model for FEMA operation. It has less to do with FEMA individually but rather what the community has been able to do — partnerships where everyone came to the table. The community effort here has just been absolutely tremendous.”

 

“It’s very respectable,” Fiorini said of the timeline in which Joplin occupants found housing. “Not a lot (of disaster areas) happen like this. This is a very large housing mission which required a lot of assets, a lot of coordination, so to get to where we are in two years is pretty commendable.”

 

 

http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x157727395/Last-of-586-FEMA-trailers-in-Joplin-to-be-prepared-for-move

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There's been some more news recently on the rebuilding projects. 

 

A preliminary spending proposal on how to spend the $113 million community block grant passed the city council. 

 

*$21 million for sidewalks and disability ramps.

*$29.5 million for sewer/stormwater repair/replacement.

*$3.7 million for street paving.

*$1.6 million for tree planting.

*$500k for job training.

*$500k to build a "Green Neighborhood"

*$750k for mental health services.

*$3.6 million for industrial park street and sewer extension.

*$3.5 million for grant auditing and administration.

 

*$10.35 million for green streetscaping 20th street (a community meeting did not like the ideas they have for this, so it may not happen)

 

*$40.4 million for the "Joplin Commons"...... This includes a two-story fieldhouse. The fieldhouse would include an indoor competition swimming pool, indoor basketball and soccer courts, a walking track and large meeting rooms. Also included in this is $2.7 million for Little League and T-ball fields and a skatepark. Also included in this project is a new senior center with exercise rooms and a therapy pool.

 

Also, Missouri has given the city $14.7 million to repair curbs and gutters that were damaged during tornado cleanup.

 

 

 

But that's not all..... The city master developer has finalized land acquisition on a couple of projects. One being the development of the library/movie theater on 20th, as well as a grocery store and either a gym, or restaurant to finish up that project. There is another grocery store planned at 26th and Main with loft apartments and the final project for now... the senior transitional center just up the street from me. (patio houses, assisted living and memory care) 

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Another month, another update. Progress continues going well on rebuilding. The neighborhood that I've taken numerous pictures of has come back to life and is almost back to where it was pre-tornado, minus the trees, of course. The schools are being rebuilt on schedule except for Joplin High School which may be a bit behind schedule. Community storm shelters are being built and some will be finished by next March (dual purpose use at the schools)

 

Progress on Mercy hospital to replace the one destroyed continues. 

 

A lot can change in a year. (top is one year ago, bottom is one year later)

 

935853_492374770840245_1395921909_n.jpg

 

 

 

 

Closeup of the building.. Windows will be in all patient rooms by December:

416404_488875851190137_499675525_o.jpg

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Looking good!

 

In that first picture, why does the ground look so red? Is that really the color of the soil or is it just that picture?

 

The color in the picture is perhaps a little more red than it should be. Joplin is an old mining town. Lead and zinc were mined here, and the red color is probably due to the large levels of Hematite. It's very rocky ground and very red/orange colored. I met a guy who was part of a church group that had come down from Minnesota to clean up tornado debris. He was taking a rust colored rock back home since he had never seen that color of rock before. 

 

426 out of 1091 yards tested had high lead levels after the tornado and had to have soil remediation. 

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/nationworld/2013-07-22/joplin-tornado-damaged-yards-have-high-lead-levels.html

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It's been another month and a half since my last update and recovery continues. 

 

Irving, Soaring Heights Elementary and East Middle School should open Jan 6th 2014. 

 

Well-wishers left messages to the students of Irving:

http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x862160147/Well-wishers-leave-messages-for-Irving-students

 

The Joplin Senior Transitional Living project got past it's next to last hurdle, all that's required is a vote by the city council to authorize the construction of it. 80 rooms for assisted living, patio type homes, and 24 memory care rooms. Probably going to start building on that early next year.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/91bfda0e9b0545df8ad8f11023fcfd02/MO--Joplin-Senior-Living

 

Developers want public input on what to put at the old St. Johns hospital site. From the public input sessions, it seemed like some kind of museum was most wanted. 

http://www.ky3.com/news/sns-ap-mo--joplin-hospital-site-20130827,0,7075642.story

 

 

A study by Troy University says that government can improve disaster response by allowing the private sector and volunteers to take the lead. 

http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/09/tornado_study_government_can_i.html

 

I can say that in Joplin, the local government had a pretty big 'hands off' approach. They cleared roads and helped the other agencies that were wanting to help. The state government did as well, as they simply asked the local government what it needed and provided that to them. They didn't try to micromanage the situation. The federal people attempted to institute a 'pass' type system for getting into the tornado zone area but that failed horribly a few hours after it started when they ran out of passes and there were long lines, so it was called off and they just had a curfew and National Guard troops patrolling. Overall, the private/volunteer organizations took over with the government supporting them, and the recovery went extremely well. 

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Been a couple of months since an update. Next week will be the 2 1/2 year mark since the tornado. 

 

Some new numbers were released today. Joplin lost an estimated 4.1% of it's population after the tornado. Also 90% of both businesses and homes/apartments that were damaged/destroyed in the tornado have been rebuilt or are under permit.

 

A youtube video showing construction progress of the schools:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgAUyl7yA2g

 

One of JHS:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTcH8IXbLz4

 

 

There's still $275,000 left over in the First Response tornado fund. $50,000 was recently given to Children's Haven in order for them to build a storm shelter.

http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x135004422/Tornado-board-approves-grant-for-storm-shelter

 

Rebuild Joplin recently opened their 100th home (they repair or rebuild homes for people)

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2013/11/06/rebuild-joplin-100th-home-since-tornado/3455179/

 

 

Drury University has been in Joplin building a butterfly/healing garden at Cunningham Park.They hope to have it finished by next May 22nd.

http://www.koamtv.com/story/23922068/students-help-rebuild-cunningham-park-in-joplin

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The new Irving Elementary school will hold it's first classes tomorrow. (unless school is cancelled due to the remaining snow)

 

Irving was one of the schools destroyed in the tornado. I'm not sure but I think Soaring Heights Elementary and East Middle open tomorrow as well. 

 

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It's been a couple of months since I last updated. There hasn't been much movement on many of the 'big projects' that the master developer has proposed. Still waiting on things to be built by them.

 

Our award winning city manager, Mark Rohr, was fired last month by 5 out of the 9 members of our city council "without cause". He was quickly hired by League City, TX and starts there March 31st. 

 

The tornado fund likely gave out the last of the tornado donations which totaled about $995,950 with interest. 

http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x334202774/Local-tornado-fund-board-cites-appreciation-accomplishments

 

There's a full list of all the recipients and how the money was used is located at:

http://www.joplinmo.org/DocumentCenter/View/2820

 

 

One of the recipients of funding was Catholic Charities who rebuilt the home of Don Atteberry, who is around 91-92 years old. He was in one of those iconic photos that were taken after the tornado since his home of 50 years was destroyed in the tornado.

 

Midwest_Storms__vinnews@hotmail.com_9-72

 

 

His new house with his Catholic Charities case manager:

 

g0002580000000000004b0e275bdcca863fbe647

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Coming up on 3 years since the tornado. This PDF ebook with lots of pics and stories has been made available for free. (usually costs $15)

 

http://www.joplintornadobook.com/

Even three years later, reading the accounts, and especially this book, never ceases to move me. The entire rebuilding process is like a model and a case study to be compared to those of other cities recovering after disasters. Probably the network of local businesses and the diversity of Joplin's demographics played a significant role in fostering the recovery--better than in, say, other areas that suffered comparable disasters. The bottom-up approach that worked so well in Joplin seems more plausible in a city of its size and composition than in a dense metro area like New York City.

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Today is the 3 year anniversary of the tornado. I can't believe it's been 3 years as the events of that day are still fresh on my mind and scars from the tornado are still visible in the empty lots, the deformed trees, and the lack of trees in some areas still.

 

Around 90% of homes have been rebuilt. The private sector has quickly rebuilt (450 businesses out of 500 have come back, and 150 additional businesses have opened), while progress lags behind when it comes to the public sector due to the usual red tape issues. 

 

http://www.ky3.com/news/local/joplin-tornado-nearly-3-years-later-90-percent-of-homes-rebuilt/21048998_26106400

 

 

A butterfly garden and overlook built by Drury University will be dedicated today at Cunningham Park.

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2014/05/21/garden-dedicated-joplin-tornado-anniversary/9376915/

 

 

Another story about Mercy (St. John's) hospital that is building back. It's still scheduled to open in March 2015. 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/joplins-extreme-efforts-to-tornado-proof-new-hospital-222058695.html

 

 

And last but not least, a "Thank You" video was created to say Thanks to all the volunteers, EMS, and everyone that made the recovery possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The new Joplin High School is nearing completion although it won't be finished by the time school starts on Aug 25th. The students will still go there, assuming the school gets all the occupancy papers to do so. 

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The new Irving Elementary school will hold it's first classes tomorrow. (unless school is cancelled due to the remaining snow)

 

Irving was one of the schools destroyed in the tornado. I'm not sure but I think Soaring Heights Elementary and East Middle open tomorrow as well. 

 

 

 

The new Joplin High School is nearing completion although it won't be finished by the time school starts on Aug 25th. The students will still go there, assuming the school gets all the occupancy papers to do so. 

 

Here's some pics of the new campus.

 

10616715_10152609373424731_9083017027818

 

10551124_10152609369339731_4255939623891

 

Appears to be a greenhouse for the Franklin Technical students?

 

 

 

Practice field..... and one of the churches can be seen. The old JHS used to be right in front of that church. 

 

 

Wow these schools look gorgeous.

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So, it's been about 5 months since my last update and things have drastically changed within the last few days.

 

The master developer Wallace Bajjali has had both of it's managers resign and the firm is probably finished.  All this without breaking ground on a single project in Joplin. Overall, the firm was paid $1.68 million by the city. A couple of side effects from having a master developer have also shown up. For one, development did not take place in some areas because people were waiting to see where the master developer was going to put projects in order to raise the property values in those areas. Another side effect was that the TIF district created by the master developer and the lack of development has caused the school district to lose money. Wallace Bajjali said they would pay the school district around $13 million, but it appears as if the firm will not exist much longer and the school will be missing out on a large amount of property tax dollars.

 

You can read about all the drama here:

http://www.thestate.com/2015/01/26/3950822_contractor-leading-joplin-redevelopment.html?rh=1

 

In other, better, news... The High School has been finished, and Mercy Hospital is still scheduled to open at the end of March.

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Coming up on 4 years before long....

 

Mercy (St. Johns) Hospital had it's open house yesterday:

http://www.joplinglobe.com/news/local_news/mercy-holds-open-house-in-advance-of-new-hospital-opening/article_4fa54330-0dc0-552f-b21d-942a7d43a034.html

 

All the rooms are private, it will have a NICU, the cancer center will have a state of the art linear accelerator, they put the ER and OR right next to each other, and lots of other new state of the art technology.

http://www.mercy.net/newsroom/2015-03-05/technology-packed-hospital-opening-in-joplin

 

 

 

 

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