May 22, 2011
This Sunday afternoon, Joplin was struck by a category F5 tornado with wind speeds up to 250mph. The twister grew to a width of a mile wide and left a devastating path of distruction. Imagine a rock moving at 250mph, a 2x4, a steel beam, a car, milions of objects thrown around like a blender. Entire trees stripped of bark, uprooted, steel bent and twister like plastic, everything in it's path was completely destroyed. 158 people fell victim to this tornado with over 1000 injured. Joplin, Missouri is a couple hours from where I grew up and I've been there many times for work and to see friends. I heard about the tornado and booked the next flight I could find out of LA. I volunteered with others to transport/deliver supplies, cut fallen trees, and joined search and rescue with cadaver dogs. I took these photos to give a little insight to the power and pure devastation of this twister.