Storms shatter Missouri

Lindsay Adams

Joplin, Sedalia damanged by apocalyptic F-5 tornadoes

On May 22, Joplin was hit by what was the deadliest single tornado in the country in 60 years.

Currently the injured of Joplin number 900 and there are 126 known deaths, according to Fox News.

There are many dead, but there are still more people unaccounted for. While some of those that are among the list of the missing are known to be dead, authorities have still not been able to identify them. Rescuers are still scouring through the rubble and destruction looking for survivors.

Destroyed buildings number in the thousands, according to The New York Times. There are many more that are severely damaged. The tornado left a path in its wake nearly six miles long. The Kansas City Star stated survivors had to endure wind speeds that were recorded at about 200 mph. The tornado drilled through the town, its width half a mile to ¾ of a mile long, estimated to be a F5-level storm.

Volunteers have flocked to Joplin and donations have been flowing into the mostly destroyed town. While Joplin has started to clear and rebuild, there is much left to be done.

Tornados and severe weather have been sweeping through Missouri as well as many of the southern states.

On May 25, several tornados were reported in the Kansas City area. They caused minimal damage, but touched down numerous times. The same day, after the tornados passed through Kansas City, they hit Sedalia at about 12:30 p.m.

Sedalia citizens had about 30 minutes’ warning and were able to keep deaths low. Thanks to the deadly tornado in Joplin several days before, citizens were alert.

According to The Kansas City Star, there are currently estimated to be about 15 to 25 dead, and the authorities are fairly certain that after an initial scouring through the wreckage, they have found all their dead. There is much devastation to the town itself. The tornado ripped a quarter to a half-mile-wide path through the town. It is estimated that the tornado was an F2-level storm.

After the tornados in Kansas City on May 25, Dean of Arts & Sciences Karen Vorst sent a letter to the faculty and staff of the School of Arts & Sciences. She wrote, “We all should know that when the sirens go off, we need to take action for our own safety and that of our students, staff and colleagues.”

At UMKC, students, faculty and staff took shelter after the tornado warnings and monitored the weather on their mobile phone and computers.

“It is critically important that we take responsibility for our students’ safety,” Vorst wrote. “When sirens are blaring, we need to take them seriously.  All classes not only need to be dismissed, but the students need to know where to go for their safety.  The basement level is the best choice.  If that is not an option, the lowest level in an interior hallway away from windows would work.  All instructors and staff need to know the best safety options and exercise these options in a timely fashion.   Please, let’s do this for the safety of everyone.”

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