Joplin, Missouri hit by EF-5 tornado

This afternoon, Joplin was hit by a devastating tornado, with lots of property damage, disrupted services, and fires. Eighty-nine  people dead as of this morning, though officials expect that to be a high number as people are located and removed from debris.

There is currently no electricity, cell or landline phone service. If you have loved ones in the area, and you cannot reach them, that’s part of the reason why. Contact the Red Cross and they should be able to get you in touch with the chapter that serves Joplin.

Oklahomans know this all too well. The May 3, 1999 tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area (Moore, Norman, Choctaw, Midwest City and Del City, OK) was an (then) F-5 tornado with windspeeds up to 300 mph. It was because of this tornado that the Fujita Scale (measures the strength of the winds of a tornado) became the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF).

I didn’t live in Oklahoma in 1999 (I was still in Norfolk, VA then. My niece, who’s now 12, was not quite 3 months old), so I didn’t witness this first hand. Since I’ve lived here, nothing that significant has hit where I’ve lived. In 2009, there was a tornado in a section of Edmond called Oak Tree, but that wasn’t near where I live near UCO. The rain and the wind and the hail was bad enough that day (February 10th).

Please pray for all those in Joplin who are affected by today’s tornado. It will take a while for things to go back to normal in town. For the people affected by it, it will be with them forever.

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I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~

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