Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joplin, Missouri

I spent this morning looking at pictures out of Joplin, MO.  The most deadly tornado in 60+ years hit there on Sunday night.

I spent most of last night in my basement with my husband and three sleeping children as storms swept through Indiana with hurricane force winds and at least three tornado touchdowns (nothing too close to us, thankfully).

Tornadoes are a part of life in the Midwest.  I know the drills, I'm all to familiar with the sound of sirens, my youngest asks me if a "tomato" is coming when we troop down to the basement, I can interpret radar images with the best arm-chair meteorologists, and I have plenty of brush-with-tornado stories.

I once pulled my car over on the side of a highway, jumped onto the floor of my backseat, curled into a ball and rode out five terrifying minutes of hail pelting my car as it rocked back and forth in the winds.  I've huddled in laundry rooms, bathrooms, basements, and inner hallways as storms pass.  I cradled a sleeping baby in my arms in a bathtub with pillows around and on top of us.  I've watched a tree being cut off of my swing set, which was reduced to an inch of metal. 

But I've never seen anything like Joplin, MO.  The swath of complete devastation is heart wrenching.  It is the worst nightmare of anyone who lives in tornado country.  It is entire neighborhood flattened.  It is families ripped apart.  It is the total loss of possessions.  It is the unthinkable loss of family members, friends and neighbors.

Of course, Joplin was not the only town devastated by tornadoes recently.  In fact, the storm that swept through Indiana last night had over 60 tornadoes credited to it by the time it reached our boarders.  But for some reason, Joplin has touched my heart deeply.  Perhaps I can see myself and my town in them. 

So, I'm just putting this one little plea for help out there.  Consider, if you will, donating to the American Red Cross.  And remember to be thankful for all you have today.


  1. Joplin, Tuscaloosa - lots of places have been devastated by tornados lately and need our help. Glad you and your family are OK.

  2. Oh, Megan, this was such a powerful post. Your examples made it so real and frightening. I love that you are thinking of the people of Joplin and asking others to do the same.

  3. OMG, it is heart-breaking. I can't bear to put on the news anymore because every time I do someone is talking about losing a child.

    We are DEFINITELY giving to the Red Cross!

  4. The storms that have been hammering the midwest are incredible. I'm suspicious it may have something to do with climate change.

  5. It is heart breaking to see and hear of the loss, devastation and chaos left in the wake of these storms. Keep safe xxx

  6. Gosh I can't believe how many incidents you've gone through. It is devastating and disturbing and hopefully lots of money will be raised to help those in need.

  7. Thank you for posting this. I've never experienced a tornado first hand, but my cousin in Thorntown, IN in the early '60s lost his entire home and possessions except for the clothes in the washer or dryer to a tornado. I've often wanted to see one first hand out in a field where it didn't do as much damage, but nothing like the Joplin tornado. I can't bear to look at that kind of destruction very long.

  8. Fellow Hoosier here. I know that we did have some frightening weather. But yes, those pictures of those who got hit the hardest really tears me apart. To know that they had to endure so much terror and damage done to their homes, town, and families. I have been blessed to have only had trees go down on our property. We had a touch down a few miles from our house, but no one was injured.