Flashback Friday: Joplin Tornado 2011

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Joplin Tornado Image One
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

Nine years ago, today, an EF5, multi-vortex tornado slammed into Joplin, Missouri. It formed at 5:34 pm CDT and dissipated at 6:12pm CDT. I remember this one, vividly. I had just moved back to North Carolina from Texas and was, literally, still unpacking. I was shocked at the devastation. ~Vic

[This] was part of a larger, late May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum width of nearly one mile […] during its path through the southern part of the city. This particular tornado was unusual in that it intensified in strength and grew larger in size at a very fast rate. The tornado tracked eastward across the city and, then, continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County and Newton County. It was the third tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971.

Joplin Tornado Image Two
Photo Credit: theatlantic.com

[The] tornado killed 158 people (with an additional eight indirect deaths), injured some 1,150 others and caused damages amounting to a total of $2.8 billion. It was the deadliest tornado to strike the United States since the 1947 Glazier–Higgins–Woodward tornadoes, and the seventh-deadliest overall. Along with the Tri-State Tornado and the 1896 St. Louis–East St. Louis tornado, it ranks as one of Missouri’s and America’s deadliest tornadoes […]. It was the first F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri since May 20, 1957 [and] was only the second F5/EF5 tornado in Missouri history dating back to 1950.

It also ranks as the costliest single tornado in U.S. history.

Additional Reading & Sources:
May Tornadoes Struck Joplin Twice in the 1970s (Joplin Globe)
Joplin Tornado (National Weather Service)
F5 & EF5 Tornadoes of the US (NOAA)
Tornado Damaged Joplin From Above (The Atlantic)
Joplin Tornado (Tornado Facts Site)
2011 Joplin Tornado (Wikipedia)

Mike Bettes Has A Hard Time

11 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Joplin Tornado 2011

    badfinger20 (Max) said:
    May 23, 2020 at 12:36 AM

    I thought Janis first thing… I remember when this one happened. The closest I have some to seeing one is clouds forming a funnel in the early 2000s. You feel helpless because it’s nothing you can do.
    How close did it come to you?

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 23, 2020 at 1:19 AM

      It didn’t. It only lasted 45min. and only went 22 miles. Joplin is at the corner borders of Kansas & Oklahoma. I’m 996 miles away, East.

      Janis Joplin the tornado. Why the hell not…LOL!

        badfinger20 (Max) said:
        May 23, 2020 at 1:22 AM

        That is why I remembered it because of the name. I thought you were going to say it was in Texas…I didn’t remember where it was at but the name rang a bell.
        Glad you missed Ms Joplin.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          May 23, 2020 at 8:47 PM

          And, THIS comment…WP stuck in SPAM. *sigh*

          Nah. I had been in NC for about a week when that thing ran thru Missouri. The area I lived in Texas (central) wasn’t part of Tornado Alley. The farthest south that goes is Waco. I was in the Round Rock area, outside of that city in Brushy Creek, due north of Austin. I lived 22 miles away from my office in downtown Austin. That place was prone to bad hail storms. Our roof was replaced twice in eight years. There is a whole industry down there for roofers and car dent repair.

            badfinger20 (Max) said:
            May 23, 2020 at 8:55 PM

            Good ole WP…. The edit your friend platform.

            A friend of mine from Texas lived near where they were. He came down and parked his trailer at our place. I had this loud ass alarm. I handed it to his kid and Bailey….they went outside of his travel trailer and started it…he came running out of that trailer thinking a tornado was coming….I laughed my ass off as he got mad as his kid…he then looked at me and knew lol.

            Yea I live near a mountain and it protects us somewhat…that is terrible about your roof and living there.

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              May 24, 2020 at 2:54 AM

              Ken tells me that we have something called “Thunder Ridge” here. It helps to split bad storms (he says). We have a small mountain called “Eno Mountain”. I’ve hiked it.

              Coming out of Durham (Durham County), headed west, on I-85, the road climbs, a LOT. It’s like the edge of Orange County is where the Eastern flat-lands start climbing into the Piedmont.

                badfinger20 (Max) said:
                May 24, 2020 at 2:56 AM

                Yea that makes sense. I know when I went there for a job interview…it seems like I was either climbing up a mountain or going down one.

    hanspostcard said:
    May 23, 2020 at 6:38 AM

    Hard to believe that was in 2011- seems like only a couple years ago. My friend Mose lives in that area- thankfully he came out of it alright.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 23, 2020 at 2:27 PM

      OMG. I bet he had stories.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    May 23, 2020 at 9:23 AM

    I remember seeing this on the news. Truly terrifying. Here we are getting more powerful storms but no big tornadoes. We get a rare small one which moves a bin or takes a few roof tiles off.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      May 23, 2020 at 2:37 PM

      North Carolina isn’t prone to devastating tornadoes like the Midwest, fly-over states (and northern Texas). We get smaller ones, here and there. The last time my small town had a tornado touch down was in early 1994…ripped the roof off of a Highway Patrol Station and killed one person.

      No…WE get the hurricanes.

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