Joplin May 21st

America's deadliest tornado in 60 years came through my front yard...

America's deadliest tornado in 60 years came through my front yard.. 
I've lived in the midwest my whole life so seeing tornados has been as easy as sitting on my porch and watching them twist and turn in the distance. You feel as easy about tornados as eskimos do about snow storms. So when I heard the sirens, i did what I always did, grab my gear, get in the car, turn on the radio.. 
Normally this results in little more than a nice drive through the rain and some nice photos of clouds and wet streets... May 22nd 2011 changed everything
Driving down 15th street, thinking I was south of the tornado.. seeing my way back home was blocked, I turned around.
This is when I realized I made a mistake, still thinking I was south of the tornado I turned south again. 
The thing I never realized what this tornado was a mile wide, wrapped in rain, making it impossible to tell where it was or that I was so close. Cars abandoned with their lights still on in front of me, I moved past to only be met with live powerlines. Finding myself boxed in, a calm came over me. I knew this could be the last thing I ever did.. when I gunned it through someone's front yard back to the safety of a friend's basement. 
After the storm passed, I made my way back to my house finding a tree on my roof and water fountain in my living room. Living in the "disaster zone" required I showed ID to National Guard troops to get back in anytime I left to eat, being that water was undrinkable for a month and power took almost two months to be restored. End of the day, even among my friends, I got out so lucky where so many didn't.
Back to Top