Situation Report




Situation Report #: N09110048


May 23, 2011

Joplin Tornado 12 p.m. May 23 Situation Report

Joplin Tornado 12 p.m. May 23 Situation Report



On May 22, 2011 severe storms impacted Missouri with significant damage to the City of Joplin.  Other counties reported minor damages: Saline County (one residence destroyed with minor injuries to occupant), Lafayette County (two residences with minor damage), and Stone (two mobile homes and two turkey barns damaged) counties. 

Governor Jay Nixon deployed 100 National Guardsmen to the affected area with specialized equipment to aid in search and rescue and debris clearing.

Electric Outages – Empire Electric – 20,000 with restoration times to be assessed and reported after daylight.

New MAC Electric (Neosho)– reporting 1500 residents out of power currently.

Shelter – Currently one shelter is open at Missouri Southern State College with 110 individuals reported at the shelter.

Forecast information –

Overnight: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. South wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Monday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 76. South wind between 9 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

National Weather Service:  Survey teams are en route and in close communication with Jasper County. They are experiencing quarter size hail and storms that should pass soon. There are concerns about additional storms this afternoon. There is a moderate risk for severe thunderstorms tomorrow.

Region D/Joplin (Jasper County) –  90 fatalities have been reported. They have outlined a grid pattern and Search & Rescue teams are doing a full grid search. Railroads have resumed operations, however they are moving slowly. Public Works and Mutual Aid are en route. A shelter is open and 300 volunteers have arrived to assist in shelter operations. Utilities are working on restorations and there is a boil advisory in effect. There are 100 law enforcement personnel working to secure 30 roadblocks. The biggest needs at this time are search and rescue as well as mortuary assistance. FEMA Region 7 is setting up a portable morgue and family assistance center. Widespread damage, EMD reports 2,000 structures destroyed including residences, businesses, schools, apartment complexes and churches. St. John's Regional Medical Center was badly damaged and patients are being evacuated.  Thirty (30) deaths have been reported.

Lafayette County – residence destroyed with minor injuries

Stone County – (Galena) A Cargil contractor with 4 turkey barns destroyed due to the damage of uprooted trees.  Another Cargil turkey barn near Galena suffered minor damages.  Two mobile homes and damages to two turkey barns reported.

ESF #1I-44 was cleared this morning and is now open. Rangeline Road is closed. Recommending that people get fuel in Springfield or Oklahoma. Currently assisting the city with debris removal.

ESF #2: Report that there are fifty cell sites that are off the network. Ten of these sites are off the network due to damage. Radio communications are up and running. A Highway Patrol command truck is en route to the affected areas to assist with communications. A State Area Coordination Center kit is being sent to support emergency phones. The Joplin Police Department communications system is not functioning. Jasper County has limited radio capability. Jasper County 911 is fully functional.

ESF #3In contact with their regional office. They are aware of some issues with waste water treatment plants and are monitoring the situation.

ESF 4 and 9 -  Monitoring search and rescue needs.Mo Task Force 1 en route (85 members, 4 dogs, heavy equipment)...KC fire heavy rescue en route.  In-region resources on scene; Region D Incident Support Team on site. Logan-Rogersville and Springfield Fire Search &Rescue assets on scene.
Division of Fire Safety Investigators Robbie Sterner and Randy Sweet in Joplin PD EOC to assist.
Region I and Region C S&R assets are on standby at this time.
Mutual aid assets staging area is Middle School on 50th Street.
Bob Patterson with St. John's is EMS coordinator in EOC.

ESF #5 The State Emergency Operations Center will be operating 24 hours a day until further notice.

ESF #6 Health - Monitoring shelter populations. Spontaneous pet shelters are going up.  A synopsis of the current messaging in relation to Mass Care and Volunteers:
For victims to let their friends and family know they are safe:
For friends and family to check on their loved ones in the affected area:
Shelter location: Missouri Southern State College at 3950 E. Newman Road in Joplin at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center
Spontaneous Volunteers (Non Medical) : (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1
Medical Volunteers:
Local Red Cross (Greater Ozarks Chapter): (417) 832-9500           

ESF #8  - Currently working resource requests. Two EMAC teams are moving into Joplin to assist.

ESF #10 – Identifying RMP and Tier Two facilities and working with the Dept. of Weights and Measures to determine if there have been any Hazmat releases. They are creating staging areas for disposal and cleanup of household chemicals.

ESF #11There are a couple of poultry houses that have possibly been damaged.

ESF 12 – Reports that there are 20,000 out of electricity. Contractors are coming in to assess the damage to the hospital. Power has been restored to the Freeman Hospital. MGE's office and operations facilities in Joplin were not damaged, however they have reported several gas releases.

MGE shut-off 6 district regulator stations that supplied (fed) natural gas to 2 distribution systems (at this time they do not have a count on the number of customers that were shut off). Leaking gas from one of their regulator stations caught fire and they had to dig up the piping away from the station and shut-off the natural gas underground. MGE's 2-way radio communications are coming back.  Land line, cellular telephone, and their 2-way radios were out for a time last night and then cell phone service was spotty.  They had walkie-talkies donated and had to use those for communication.  MGE had personnel in the emergency command center set-up by Joplin and were receiving leak reports from various emergency responders, other utilities, and the public into the command center and dispatching personnel for the command center until communications improved.

No damage to any AT&T Central Offices, all are on commercial power. Communications to St. John's Hospital are greatly limited. A total of 6 cell sites are impacted. 1 is physically damaged the others are believed to be power or transport related. 1 of the sites is at St. John's hospital. We are deploying a satellite COLT there. Further assessments are being made for resolution.
22 RTs are currently down, 20 RTs are on generators that have been deployed and 35 RTs are on battery.  Some of these sites are not yet accessible as the power company has not yet declared the areas safe. Outside plant personnel are currently conducting damage assessment for OOS conditions and will report when completed.

Electric Co Ops- New Mac Electric reports 1500 currently out of power.
Public Service Commission reports that telephone contact with Empire Gas is very sporadic making outage information difficult to obtain.

ESF #13 - Continuing to augment Joplin Police Department. There are approximately 110 officers that have been sent to the affected area. Troop D is managing the outer perimeters and providing handouts to people at check points. MSHP handled one request for natural gas link at the Elks Lodge (west of St John's hospital).  Made direct contact with MO Energy who sent a response team to the area.   MSHP has assigned troopers from other regions to respond to Joplin.  There are currently 51 troopers and a mobile command vehicle with 4 communications personnel on scene or en route. They are currently assessing the needs for the morning and will be sending 19 more officers tomorrow.

ESF #15 – There have been about 100 media inquiries. Has requested a Public Information Officer from the Dept. of Health to assist with media calls.

ESF 16 – There are 139 troops on the ground and more have been requested.

ESF #17 – Supporting shelters and assessing where needs are currently.

For more information, call (573) 751-4819 or e-mail