The Joplin Tornado was a powerful terrible tornado. It touched down just east of the Kanas-Missouri border on May 22, 2011. There were warnings for tornados throughout the weekend of the 22nd. The tornado sirens went off 20 minutes before touchdown, but for many, 20 minutes was not enough time…
The Joplin Tornado was part of a large late May tornado outbreak. The one in Joplin was by far the worst. The tornado touched down at 5:34 CDT and trekked east directly into Joplin. Sirens sounded in Joplin but many residents didn’t hear them. The tornado continued through rural areas toward Joplin strengthening to an EF3.
The twister stormed into Joplin obliterating several small well built commercial buildings with it’s first show of EF4 power. It ripped it’s way into St. John’s Medical Center with EF5 power killing six people five of whom were on ventilators. Then it ripped up 300 pound parking stops a manhole which Iowa State wind engineer Parka Sarkar was able to estimate that 200 mph winds were needed to tear them off them off the ground.
The Joplin tornado was one of the deadliest tornadoes in history with 161 deaths and 2.8 billion dollars in damage. The tornado was also the first EF5 tornado since the May 20, 1957.
By Christopher Myers