Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joplin, Missouri Devastated By Tornado

The city of Joplin was pummeled by a very large tornado earlier this evening. The massive amounts of information that continue to stream in at this hour is so patchwork that it is hard to decipher facts from rumors. We is what I can confirm or let you know that local media is reporting:

* Nearly 75% of the community of over 40,000 was impacted by the storm.

* The city has been declared a local emergency disaster area by the mayor.

* The latest casualty number (and I urge that this will likely increase) is at 25 as of this blog post.

* St. John's Hospital was hard hit. The building was evacuated. Critically injured are being transported to Freeman Hospital, while the walking wounded were being advised to head to Memorial Hall. That triage location is full so McAuley High School has been opened to handle the overflow.

* All available medical help in the area is being urged to come to Joplin to assist. All others (including sightseers and gawkers) are urged to stay out!

* Joplin Public Schools will be closed tomorrow. The high school sustained a direct hit from the tornado.

There is the potential for severe weather tomorrow as well. The Storm Prediction Center has already issued a moderate risk for storms.

You should stay tuned to local weather forecasts. Make sure your NOAA All Hazards Radio is on and backed up by battery. If you don't own a NOAA All Hazards Radio, you should. Click the link for a previous blog post on selecting one.

Additional updates will be made to this blog as time permits. In the meantime, please check out The Joplin Globe and other local media outlets for the latest information.

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