So I suppose I should start with what has happened over the summer. Well as some may, or may not know, on the 22nd of May an F5 tornado ripped it's way through Joplin Missouri. Through my church, my friend Ashley and I went on an RV trip to help with the relief efforts. When we went it had been around 3 months since the tornado struck. Three months is a long time, a lot of things can change in that period of time. But in Joplin, it was like time stood still. Three months hadn't mad that grand of a difference and there ceased to be piles of debris to search through.
It's hard for some to imagine the devastation that existed there. It wasn't simply some uprooted trees and minor shingle damage. No. This was like a child took a puzzle version of the city and flipped it over.
The tipped over puzzle of the lovely man pictured below
Such a wonderful man... though he may have been a hoarder, he told some charming stories of his now deceased wife and though I am quite allergic he had an adorable baby kitten no bigger than the palm of your hand.
Personals: personal objects that are salvageable. These were my favorites to find. The man above's wife's collection of recipes.
Someone's outlet cover
Take a moment to think about your home, the smell, the size, the things inside. The pictures below were all once someone's home. The place someone returned to every night. Perhaps the only place they every felt safe. Now look at what has be come of them. Remind yourself after each picture: "This was once a home".
Observe the roof of this house, not very normal.
A very unfortunate end for these two cars, extremely scary to imagine what it would have been like to be inside (not that anyone was, I'm just saying because they obviously were not shown much sympathy.)
This picture should be rotated. For some reason it didn't, however if you were wondering: yes, this was a lamp post.
The front of this house is caved in, it's hard to tell from this angle but was tediously balanced from the inside I was constantly panicked that the entire wall would fall in on us.
An apartment complex, half of the group were searching for personal's here. I wasn't part of that group so I only have a picture from the outside.
And perhaps worst of all: their high school.
I suppose it is impossible to truly understand the level of utter destruction that we saw there through these few pictures but perhaps you gained some sense of comprehension. This was three months after the storm itself, now seven months later I'm not quite sure if very much has changed unless they finally brought in the bulldozers and leveled the rest of the city. It's tragic and does nothing to relieve my paranoia but at the same time, it forces you to realize just how fast the puzzle can be broken. And even more; how long it takes to put every piece back in it's place. That is, all the pieces that you can find in the wreckage.