Archive for May 23rd, 2011

Key Updates to Joplin Tornado Tragedy

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Here is some of the information, that news services are reporting, concerning the Joplin tornado. Continue to pray for the people affected by this horrible tragedy.

Quick Notes

116 confirmed dead; more than 400 injured

Joplin Schools want to confirm the well being of its students and staff. Contact the school district at 417.625.5270 or comment on the Joplin Schools Facebook page.

To located loved ones

Visit www.safeandwell.org [name and phone number or address of loved ones required. -ed]

Call 417.659.5464

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon gets a first hand look at the tornado damage blamed for 116 deaths.

In a news conference this afternoon the the governor said he has spoken to the president and is assured Joplin will get federal assistance.

The governor was joined by the city manager, congressman Billy Long and the adjutant general of the National Guard.

265 Guardsman are in town along with 110 state troopers.

The governor noted that faith-based organizations play a vital role in the neighbor helping neighbor effort and said rebuilding help will come later, but first and foremost the search is on for the missing.

“I just ask that everyone throughout the region, throughout the country, continue to pray for folks as we work out there,” Governor Nixon said. “As you know it’s been a very difficult time but the seven rescues today mean there are other people out there that could be surviving and we need to make sure we’re in a very organized way going about the search as these leaders – very organized leaders – are doing right now.”

A temporary morgue was set up at Missouri Southern to handle the large number of deceased – 116 at the last report.

Some of the deceased were taken to a command center at 24th and Main Street, awaiting transport to MSSU.

The Joplin fire chief said the deaths were widespread and not concentrated at any one location. He said right now they are trying to compile a list of names and identify the bodies.

“We are working on a list right now,” Chief Mitch Randles said. “As you can imagine it’s quite extensive and it’s quite hard to keep track of. I do have my staff working on that and we hope to be able to release it at a later point in time.”

How you can help

Complete spreadsheet of Joplin Relief Drop Off Locations

Volunteers are asked to report to Leggett & Platt (recreation center) at Missouri Southern State University

To give blood in Joplin go to the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks located at the Northpark Mall.

To find out how you can help call 1-800-RedCross or visit RedCross.org

Mail monetary donations to:
American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

Shelters

Ignite Church
Leggett & Platt Center at MSSU
Mount Hope Church of Christ in Webb City (call 624-1795)

Bus’s to Red Cross shelters available at:
– Junge Stadium on 13th Street
– Forest Park Baptist Church, 7th and Rangeline
– Lowe’s, 24th and Rangeline
– Vintage Stock, 32nd and Main

Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles says sightseers need to stay out of the area.

He says St. John’s emergency room was moved to Memorial Hall. A mobile hospital team is at 30th and Range Line.

Randles says rescuers are fighting the elements.

Several county coroners and mobile morgue teams are working together on collection and identification of bodies.

Missouri Task Force 1 and Oklahoma CERT teams are working to locate people still in the Home Depot and Walmart.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says law enforcement and emergency responders are still working in apartment buildings.

The governor said the police and military police working together to prevent looting and keep people out of the damage area.

Pets

Amber Alert for Pets will issue free lost pet alerts families who have lost a pet in the area affect by the tornado. Go to amberalertforpets.com and fill out a lost pet report. Use the code “MS2011”. A cell phone picture will work.

Central Pet Care at 224 West Central in Carthage is open to accept animal emergencies and displaced animals. Call 417.358.1300 for more info.

Golden Paws Pet Resort is accepting animals that need shelter because their owners have lost their homes. Please call 623-0842.

Original Link.

Joplin, MO Devastated by Killer Tornado

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We need to keep the people of Joplin, Missouri in our prayers. Last evening (Sunday, 5-22-11), the city of Joplin was hit by a massive tornado, that tore through large swaths of residential areas, leaving, at last count, 89 dead and over 400 injured.
Please pray for all the people affected by this horrible disaster.

Rescue workers were going door-to-door Monday, searching for survivors of a monster tornado that ripped through the heart of Joplin, Mo., Sunday night, killing at least 89 people while wiping out entire neighborhoods.

Authorities warned that the death toll could climb as search and rescuers continued their work after the twister cut a path nearly 6 miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town. Their task was made more miserable Monday morning as a thunderstorm with strong, gusty winds and heavy rain pelted part of the city with hail.

“While the weather is bad right now, we still believe there are lives to be saved,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in an interview with Fox News.

City manager Mark Rohr announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the wreckage of a hospital that took a direct hit from Sunday’s storm. Rohr said tornado sirens gave residents about a 20-minute warning before the tornado touched down on the city’s west side.

Much of the city’s south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins. Fire chief Mitch Randles estimated 25 percent to 30 percent of the city was damaged, and said his own home was among the buildings destroyed as the twister swept through this city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City.

An unknown number of people were injured in the storm, and officials said patients were scattered to any nearby hospitals that could take them.

Authorities conducted searches of the damaged area Monday morning, moving gingerly around downed power lines, jagged debris and a series of gas leaks that caused fires around the city overnight.

Early Monday, Nixon said fires from gas leaks still burned across the city.

Residents said the damage was breathtaking in scope.

“You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That’s really what it looked like,” said Kerry Sachetta, the principal of a flattened Joplin High School. “I couldn’t even make out the side of the building. It was total devastation in my view. I just couldn’t believe what I saw.”

The Joplin twister was one of 68 reported tornadoes across seven Midwest states over the weekend, stretching from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. One person was killed in Minneapolis. But the devastation in Missouri was the worst, eerily reminiscent of the tornadoes that killed more than 300 people across the South last month.

Debris from the tornado reportedly spread for miles — even landing in Greene County, which is some 70 miles away from Joplin.

“It’s all over. Walnut Grove, Battlefield. You name it,” Ryan Nicholls, director of Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management, told News-Leader.com.

Sunday’s storm in Joplin hit a hospital packed with patients and a commercial area including a Home Depot construction store, numerous smaller businesses and restaurants and a grocery store. Jasper County emergency management director Keith Stammer said an estimated 2,000 buildings were damaged.

Among the worst-hit locations in Joplin was St. John’s Regional Medical Center. The staff had just a few moments’ notice to hustle patients into hallways before the storm struck the nine-story building, blowing out hundreds of windows and leaving the facility useless.

In the parking lot, a helicopter lay crushed on its side, its rotors torn apart and windows smashed. Nearby, a pile of cars lay crumpled into a single mass of twisted metal. Matt Sheffer dodged downed power lines, trees and closed streets to make it to his dental office across from the hospital. Rubble littered a flattened lot where a pharmacy, gas station and some doctors’ offices once stood.

St. John’s patients were evacuated to other hospitals in the region, said Cora Scott, a spokeswoman for the medical center’s sister hospital in Springfield.

Early Monday morning, floodlights from a temporary triage facility lit what remained of the hospital that once held as many as 367 patients. Police officers could be seen combing the surrounding area for bodies.

Original Link.