Joplin Tornado Annivesary One Year

2011 Joplin Tornado DevastationJoplin Tornado Rips Through Town

Joplin tornado: complete devastation. At 5:41 pm on May 22 2011, an EF5 tornado touched down in Joplin, Missouri and wiped out nearly a quarter of the town.  One hundred sixty people lost their lives and more than 10,500 homes were destroyed.  It is the seventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The Joplin tornado turned peoples lives upside down.

Up to 20 tractor-trailers were thrown from Interstate 44 between exit 10 to exit 12.

The Joplin tornado was on the ground for 20 minutes.  When the funnel cloud lifted, Joplin would never be the same.

Hazel Guthery: Survivor Story

On that fateful day, one block away from St. John’s Hospital, Hazel Guthery was at home with her Yorkie pup, Sparky.  As the storm approached, Sparky jumped off the bed and ran under it. Hazel knew something was wrong.  She grabbed her companion and the two jumped in the bedroom closet, where they rode out the tornado as it thrashed the house.

Poem: The Hearts of Joplin, Missouri
Click the image to see the full size of Hearts of Joplin, Missouri Poem

After the storm passed, Hazel came out of the closet to find that the home she had lived in for nearly a quarter of a century had been destroyed – the block she lived on was nearly wiped off the map.

Rebuild Joplin

For 363 days, Hazel bounced between her daughter’s houses and motels. Under insured and nowhere else to go, Hazel had almost given up, until her daughters heard about Rebuild Joplin.

Rebuild Joplin works with local charities to rebuild homes for the uninsured and under insured residents of Joplin who lost their homes in the tornado.

Nearly one year to the day later, Hazel and Sparky are home again, thanks to Rebuild Joplin. Tornado damage couldn’t break her spirit.

There are currently 325 families still without a place to call home.

We would like you to know more about them, and about Hazel.

This is Hazel’s story.

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