Joplin, MO: Two months later

This past weekend we took a short family vacation to Dallas to visit my husband’s sister and brother-in-law.  We decided on our way down to drive through Joplin, Missouri to view the tornado devastation ourselves.

I have to say, I was floored.  I could not believe two months later how much destruction there still is.  I suppose in my mind it makes sense.  It takes time to accomplish any sort of recovery.  The first week is spent in rescue and recovery.  Then you have to go through all the hoops and loops and red tape to secure funding and get approvals for rebuilding.  Then you have to find people to help you rebuild.  So I suppose I shouldn’t have been so taken aback by the remaining destruction, but yet it still took my breath away.

(I apologize.  I saved these files into smaller picture files to save upload space and time, but they ended up too small.  I didn’t have time to go back and fix them before posting.)

This is the Home Depot that was destroyed.  They had a temporary building up and were open for business.

Here is an uprooted tree being hauled away.

A view looking down 20th Street.

Another uprooted tree.  Also see the tree still standing next to it?  Notice how the leaves are just growing off the stump and branches that were not destroyed by the tornado?  Kinda creepy, like out of a sci-fi movie.

Rubble.  Probably someone’s home.

Destroyed apartments.

Look at all that devestation still sitting there.  It makes my heart ache.

The high school.

Nothingness.  With the hospital there in the background.

We just drove through town.  We didn’t stop and get out.  If we had I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it more than two seconds before breaking down.

My brother-in-law that we went to visit in Dallas has family in Joplin.   His brother and his girlfriend hid in the bathroom in their apartment complex as the tornado destroyed the buildings around them.  They were all okay, thankfully.  So my brother-in-law showed us the video he took when he visited just two days after the tornaado.  It was incredible.  He showed us how the mattress from his brother’s bedroom had been sucked out the window, yet in the apartment above them, a little pendulum clock still hung on the wall despite the fact that the roof and most of the walls were gone.

These people still need help.  If not financially, then they still need prayers.  There is still so much recovery and rebuilding left to do before they can move on with their lives in some sense of normalcy.  If that’s something that can ever even be achieved.

(Sorry for the sad post today.  I just wanted to share this with you since it was so fresh in my mind.  I’ll try to be more upbeat later this week!)

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