May 22, 2011

Final 155 dead, 0 missing - Tornado hits Joplin Mo.

Final 155 dead, zero missing. (6/21 update)

Final 134 dead, zero missing.    Mo Highway Patrol supervises the identification...apparently taking over the task from the local coroner.

Tuesday midday  5/31: 142 Reported dead by Joplin Globe,  750 treated at hospitals.  Now just 39 are reported by city as missing or unaccounted for.  More than a hundred people originally listed as missing have been found alive.   City shifts into RECOVERY MODE since no more trapped survivors have been found.

Update from Joplin Globe 5/28...Coroner taking it slow before releasing names of the dead.  Some 90 have been released and officials are notifying next of kin at the present time.


The Big Story is Joplin Monday -- after a Sunday afternoon twister nails Joplin Missouri, a city of 50,000 people in the southwest corner of Missouri.

Early video Sunday night from Weather Channel
JOPLIN, Mo. —  Sunday mid evening.  Breaking  A tornado roared through the city of Joplin late Sunday afternoon, 5/22 causing major structural damage along and just north of Interstate 44.  Range Line was closed at 15th Street, and widespread damage could be seen along the city's most densely built commercial strip.  Local radio stations reported numerous tractor-trailer rigs had been blown off of Interstate 44.     Globe Staff Writer

St Johns Windows blown out  WxChnl
MSNBC: Sunday evening. St. John's Regional Medical Center had structural damage. Neighborhoods near the hospital appeared to have been leveled from television reports.Emergency crews are searching for victims and people possible trapped in the debris.  Joplin is in the extreme southwest corner of Missouri called the 4 state area, Mo, Ks, Ar, Ok.

KSNF TV Joplin: 8pm  (Kansas State Network, Four State TV)
The hospital (St Johns) received extensive damage to the exterior of the entire building. The facility is currently without power and patients are being moved to another location.
Patients in critical condition are being taken to Freeman Health System, while the walking injured are being sent to Memorial Hall to be treated.   Hospital officials say there is a major gas leak and they fear the possibility of an explosion.   KSNF Tower Cam shot of tornado in the distance

CNN:  Casualties reported... damage described as 'horrific'.   A CNN interview reported from a hospital nurse that they 'lost four patients'.

KOTV: Sunday Night Reporting at least 24 deaths.
City officials fear death toll over 100...89   90 confirmed at daybreak Monday Morning   Monday Noon.
Midday 116 injured

Midday Monday: the death toll remains close to the same while search and rescue people continue looking through the destruction, including a Walmart, Home Depot, and other businesses which were either completely or partially flattened.  Many homes have been destroyed as well in multiple neighborhoods of South Joplin.  Governor expected to tour.... bad weather at Monday morning has calmed. 

At 12:30 Central Monday, Governor Nixon tells CNN he believes some are still missing and others are buried alive and efforts are underway to find them.   Some are reported missing from a nursing home.    He says "folks are working in very difficult conditions" because of Monday storms still in the area.

Nixon said 17 cell towers were knocked over so communication has been difficult to call in and out.  He said water pressure is back, however and there are still scents of natural gas in the area. is the place to contact if people wish to help.

JOPLIN, MO---Joplin authorities have asked the public to limit use of water because of rescue teams fighting fires. Joplin has been declared a local disaster area.  Local emergency management personnel are asking you to stay home and keep roadways clear for them.  All city employees report to public works.  (From KSNF)

8:50pm Sunday ... CNN reporting fatalities.  Damaged Hospital evacuated.  Video of many buildings, some homes,  heavily damaged.  Triage center set up.

Sunday evening Residents 70 miles away from Joplin in Dade County were finding X-rays from St. John's in their driveways, said Foreman, indicating the size and power of the twister. Parts of the city were unrecognizable, according to Steve Polley, a storm chaser from Kansas City who described the damage as "complete devastation."
The tornado cut a path of destruction through the heart of the city, hitting heavily populated areas, Foreman said.

Photos from KODETV:

9:30pm  Sunday CNN Reporting Mo National Guard has been activated by the Governor... and Red Cross accepting medical volunteers at a special number.

9:45 pm Sunday Governor Jay Nixon tells CNN "it is going to be a long night and a difficult recovery."  He says a well known Search and Recovery Team is coming from Columbia to assist in rescue..and 'boots are on the ground in Joplin".

10pm KMBC TV Johnny Rowlands reporting the tornado will likely be an EF5 tornado that swept across the southern part of Joplin, possibly a mile wide and a path length as long as seven miles.  A KMBC field reporter from Joplin said parts of the city smelled of natural gas leaking from the damaged areas near him.  Another reporter described some areas completely leveled.  A 9 reporter at St Johns hospital says the top two floors of the building are gone and search and rescue people are looking for victims.

Word's out that Channel 9 was quick to react Sunday, flew Johnny Rowlands & copter to Joplin and had multiple reporters working early....while other KC station mgrs were playing with themselves for a decision.  Typical.

ST Louis Post Dispatch Sunday night reporting  the Joplin tornado also caused “significant damage” to at least four school buildings in the Joplin School District.  Assistant superintendent Angie Besendorfer says school will be canceled Monday and probably for the next several days.  She says the twister damaged Joplin High, Cecil Floyd Elementary, Franklin Technology Center and the central office building. Some of the schools that escaped damage are being opened as shelters.  The high school graduation was held at Missouri Southern State University in the afternoon. Many people barely got home before the twister hit. She says the district is “extremely worried” about its students and staff.
A destroyed helicopter lies on its side in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging the hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Updates:  Joplin Globe Newspaper...Story Globe reports high school nearly destroyed; other schools too; emergency crews bringing injured to hospitals.  Anecdotal details and personal messages being added to hourly at the city's local newspaper.

Sunrise Monday Update:  TV Networks, with additional manpower, bring depth and width to coverage, and more pictures.  Today, Good Morning America bringing ability to collect video and still pictures, getting their arms around the magnitude of the destruction.  GMA reported 2000 buildings destroyed or damaged-- a third of the city wrecked

CBS learns the city officials are still in search and rescue mode at Monday morning time.   

NBC'S Brian Williams plans coverage Monday tonight from Joplin--illustrating Joplin is the nation's biggest story of the day.  And what KSHB 41 Kansas City didn't have resources to do, NBC DID and provided the professional journalism not found in Kansas City Monday evening.  Ya just had to see the network people drive this regional story home! 

Networks also cover a strike in Minneapolis Minn, showing damage there from local affiliates in a market where TV journalism is exceptional.  1 killed, several injured.

KC Weather people Monday Morning saying the storm system isn't over...for today, eyes remain watchful in KC, Kansas and Missouri as weather may kick up again.    9 reports some KCMO Firefighters are expected in Joplin to help. 

8:30am Monday... more weather comes through, lots of lightning and a thunderstorm--the last thing rescuers need to distract them and cover the area with rain!


Midday Monday -- Stormchasers provide the most emotional and sensational video of the actual Joplin twister on most networks... which provide the fear and the emotional sensations of danger as it occurred on shaky real life video.  

Networks relived that 5 minute period with shaky video and even stormchasers freaking out under the wrath of mother nature less than minutes away from them.  All kind of a live version of the 1996 Bill Paxton film "Twister".

Governor Jay Nixon Monday Newsconference 3pm Central.    7 Rescues were provided, he said.  Leaders promised they'd cover ever square foot of the town and rebuild the city.  Even as rescues were underway, the federal, Missouri and local Missouri politicians held a news conference to show themselves to hear themselves talk.  Nothing newsworthy came of the media event. 

5pm. KMBC:  Most injured patients not handled in Joplin went to Springfield but a few were transferred to Kansas City, among them, 6 to Children's Mercy Hospital, and a couple at other hospitals including KU Med, Research, and others.  116 were counted as dead by early evening and an estimated 500 were injured, mostly treated in Joplin.  Red Cross is handling donations at 855 230 2150.  

7:30PM  City manager tells CNN 17 people have been rescued from rubble but the death toll has remained at 116.  They continue searching even tho in the current rain two rescuers have been struck by lightning.

Click for Radioman's Tuesday Storm story-- More storms coming

One person was killed in the town of Reading KS, near Emporia Saturday night when a twister caused major damage to the small town.   Tornados were spotted from  Topeka to Kansas city Saturday night as well but no injuries and damage was reported light.

No comments: