The town I lived in before moving to California was hit by a major tornado yesterday. I am still in shock and disbelief. Looking at the photos and the coverage, most of the town is unrecognizable. The town I once knew like the back of my hand is now a place of mass destruction. The apartment I lived in before moving is gone. It is so scary to think of all the times my roommate and I heard tornado sirens while living in that apartment. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens, many fast food joints and restaraunts... GONE!!! Just like that. It is so amazing to me how something can come through and cause so much damage and devastation in such a short time. I lived in the area for 26 years and never witness anything like this. Many of my friends have lost their homes and loved ones. So many lives are changed forever.
I first got news of the tornado on facebook and immediately text my mom and my old roommate. My mom lives about 20 miles outside of Joplin and was fine. My old roommate lives literally blocks from most of the devastation. Her and her husband were so lucky that only a tree was ripped up out of their yard and his car has some minor damage, but they are fine and their house was untouched. She said the damage is just unreal and it like a bad dream. I saw my cousin's facebook status stating that their house just got hit by a tornado, but they are fine. The cell phone towers are down, so there is hardly anyway to get in touch with many people. I got a text from another family member saying that my cousin's neighborhood is completely demolished and her and her boys were unaccounted for. I immediately freaked out and started trying to call every family member even though I knew I wouldn't be able to get through. About half an hour later, the missing cousin's brother found her and her family walking down the road. Her and her whole family piled into the bathtub just in time before all the windows started shattering and the roof flew off of their house. Luckily, they are all ok!
What used to be a residential area
St. John's hospital
Here is actual footage of the tornado and the damage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT7CtF5ljxY&feature=share
Aerial video of the damage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWNwZ1IY2p0&feature=player_embedded#at=50
My heart goes out to all of my family and friends and the town that I love so much and will always consider home.