Joplin Tornado Situation Report
5 p.m. May 24
Search and Rescue resumed at 2200 hrs 23 May after the weather cleared. The fatality count
was confirmed at 117 as of 0330 24 May by the Jasper County EOC.
May 23rd, 2011
Earlier this afternoon, thunderstorms moved from Southwest Missouri into Eastern Missouri
leading to 53,000 Ameren utility customers without power. The eastern side of Missouri is
expecting in the late afternoon a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of
the storms could be severe. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 75. Southwest wind around 11
mph. The eastern side of the state expects for this evening showers and thunderstorms
likely, mainly after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. South wind between 5 and 10
mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
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 – Ameren reports 16,000 outages. Empire Electric reports 14,600 outages and
is working on restoration.
New MAC Electric (Neosho)– is reporting that power is back to normal.
Shelter – Currently a shelter is open at Missouri Southern State College with 143 individuals
reported at the shelter. Shelter at Ignite Church at 701 S. Maiden Ln. with 34 individuals
reported at the shelter. Shelter at College Heights Christian College at 4311 E. Newman Rd
has an unspecified amount of individuals, they couldn't be reached by phone.
Forecast information –
Today: Nation Weather Service reports good weather for Joplin today. A 20 percent chance of
showers and thunderstorms. Increasing clouds, with a high near 81. South wind between 10
and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Tonight: National Weather Service reports expectations for tornado outbreaks across Kansas
and Oklahoma that may progress eastward. Periods of showers and thunderstorms. Some of
the storms could be severe. Low around 66. South wind between 16 and 20 mph, with gusts as
high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and
half of an inch possible.
Tomorrow: National Weather Service reports that the Highway 65 corridor heading east will
be under risk for thunderstorms and possibly tornados.
Lafayette County – residence destroyed with minor injuries.
Franklin - Several power outages due to straight line wind.
St. Charles – A severe thunderstorm moved through the county, the storm produced reports
of straight-line winds in Wentzville estimated at 50 to 60 mph. No structural damage has
been reported at this time, but dispatch centers and emergency managers are being polled
for additional damage reports. Current Impact: Minor. Scattered tree and power line damage;
limited power outages. 2 transformer fires, wires down reports, and lightning strikes; one
storm-related house fire. Power outages of approx 1,800 have been reported. Portage des
Sioux's water plant is currently without power. Ameren EOC has been notified, but there is
no estimate on restoration time. St Peters reports 8" tree down at City PWS facility
St. Louis County/City – reported power outages due to downed trees and lines. 52,000 power
outages were reported in Region C
Jasper County – Confirmed fatality count is now 118. Operations were temporarily
suspended last night due to weather. They will begin releasing the more significant search
and rescue teams, as they are currently 85% done with their searching. They will begin their
third search today, but are in need of more cadaver dogs. Shelter count for overnight was
approximately 125. They are inundated with Public Works help from across the state and
water has been restored to the unaffected areas. FEMA will be conducting building
inspections today. Joplin will test their emergency sirens today at 10:30 am. AT&T will be
bringing in a smart truck later today to provide additional channels for communication. A
meteorologist will be arriving today from the National Weather Service to assist the Joplin
Emergency Management Office. Boil order is no longer in effect, and water has been
restored. Search and rescue is roughly half way completed. Working with Disaster Medical
Assistance Team through St. Johns to have a 60 bed surgical unit staffed by DMAT team, then
by St. Johns staff. Joplin EOC reports 6 reliable phone lines are up. City of Sarcoxie reports a
loss of power. Current estimates from Empire are that power could be restored as early as 24
to 36 hours from 9 am this morning. Generators have been powered up on the public drinking
water system, City Hall, and the wastewater system. An additional generator will be set up at
the Gene Taylor Community Building and a bigger one for the wastewater system by 8 pm
tonight. The Red Cross will begin a 200 hot meal food service at the Gene Taylor Community
Building ( 218 N. 5th Street, Sarcoxie) beginning today at 2:30 pm. Red Cross and City officials
will monitor to determine if continuing operations are required as well as the needs for an
overnight shelter. 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. 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.
Lawrence County – Two homes completely devastated, two homes with minor
damage, and two families displaced but staying with family. No fatalities, injuries, or outages.
McDonald County – McDonald County 911 reported several road closings due to high
and flooding. This includes Highway 43 near the Buffalo Creek Bridge, Route W 1.5 miles
north of Pineville, and a location on Route E. They have advised that these roads may not be
barricaded as MODOT is working skeleton crews in this area due to the tornado response in
Newton County – Shelter opened at Seneca Middle School (925 Oneida
Seneca, MO 64865) with a population of 50. 40 homes have been flooded in Seneca and 11
were evacuated. Public Works buildings and parks have been flooded. The 1st Baptist Church in Seneca (904 Oneida Street, Seneca, MO 64865) is being used as a shelter
and has a population of 9. 32 homes evacuated do to flash flooding and the associated risks.
The Army Corps of Engineers is increasing flows at Beaver Damn and Table Rock Damn (to
34,000cfs). The flow amount will affect homes on Lake Taneycomo and the Lower Branson
Landing. Contacted the sheriff's office at 0200 and they said that the water was receding.
Heavy rains have been steady since the tornado and Newton County is starting to experience
flooding, but no impact to residents. No flood damage has been reported yet, but will
probably occur if the rain continues as forecasted.
Stone County – At 1600 hours today, the Table Rock Lake was at 930.32. The Top Flood Pool is
at 931. It is expected to crest at 933.5. On April 28, 2011 the pool crested at 935.5. (Galena) A
Cargill 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.
Taney County – The Corps of Engineers is releasing 52,500 cfs from Beaver Lake causing an
increase in release from Table Rock Lake to 53,600 cfs. Lake Taneycomo is seeing rises
between 2008 and 2011 flooding levels. Emergency Management issues a Civil Emergency
message through the Emergency Alert System. There are 19 road and bridge closures at this
Mississippi County – At 1640 hours storms
moved through the Charleston. The storms tore the
roof off a business and damaged 6 vehicles. No injuries were reported.
Andrew County – At approximately 1900
hours on 05/21/2011, storms moved through northern
Andrew County and Fillmore Areas. They received a large from amount of golfball to baseball size
hail. Damage from hail and wind affected three residences and several other buildings. There were
no deaths or injuries.
National Weather Service: Reports that Lake Tanaeycomo has flooded several homes.
ESF #1: Received offers from neighboring cities to assist with transit and public works. These
resources are currently on standby. Assisting ESF #6 by getting road signs to help direct
volunteer workers. They have 10 crews of 5 individuals working to clear roads. Business 71 is
closed. I-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 and traffic control.
ESF #2: Began trying to locate missing people using cellular services. Sprint has provided 25
phones to Joplin, however they have not yet arrived at the EOC. Carthage lost coverage in the
area last night and they are working to get it back up. Cellular coverage is continually
improving. Sprint restored cell site near Memorial Hall, and is distributing cell phones to
people in Jasper county Emergency Operations Center. ATT reports 2 cell sites have been
restored. A satellite telephone kit has been dispatched. 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
ESF #3: Missouri Water has been staffed in Joplin. In contact with their regional office. They
are aware of some issues with waste water and water treatment plants and are monitoring
the situation. Damage is limited to Joplin.
ESF #4 & 9 – Filled requests for ATV's to help with search and rescue efforts. Cadaver dogs
will arrive by 1500 hours on 05/24/2011. Two search and rescue teams from Region C and one
search and rescue team from Kansas City, KS have arrived. Currently searching sector D8, with
next immediate priorities being D9 (Hampshire Terrace Apartments) and D11A (Olympic
Apartments). Oklahoma USAR and MOTF1 in the search areas. Last primary search priorities
are sectors D6, D12, and D15. Secondary searches will be authorized after these primary
searches are done.
The Mid America Regional Council has deployed to Joplin the following: 5 heavy rescue
Teams and 5 ambulance strike teams (25 total ambulances). 4 of the 5 strike teams will be
released tonight. 31 nurses are being deployed to work at hospitals in the immediate vicinity
and at Cox North Hospital in Springfield at the request of the Missouri Hospital Association.
The Medical Reserve Corps of Greater Kansas City volunteers are on standby if requested.
Kansas City Police Dept tactical and traffic squads and communications assets have deployed
to Joplin, as well as Cass county law enforcement with personnel and vehicles.
Per Greg Carrell, Springfield and Oklahoma have joined forces and resumed searching after
the weather cleared at 2200 they continued until 0136 when they returned for rehab and will
resume at first light. Monett, Kansas City KS, Brookline, Clever and Central Polk teams are
being mission tasked and resumed those missions at 2200 also. Jasper County has all the
search and rescue teams they can coordinate at this time. The county has received a number
of self deployed fire fighters, and are working to find out if they have an incident
Region C assets arrived at 0136 at the staging area and will perform secondary searches at first
light in areas that were quick searched at the beginning of the event.
Region F is sending 12 member Incident Support Team to fill shifts on the 24th and 25th
Joplin Emergency Operations Center. Team departed Region F at 0321 with an ETA in Joplin
3 cadaver dogs arrived last night, with another 3 to arrive this morning.
Working with K-9 search and rescue requests from Region C. MOTF1 and KC assets are actively
searching in the affected area. MOTF1's base of operations is at Indiana Ave and East 20th.
Arkansas and Oklahoma also have state USAR teams on site. Tulsa IMT and SWMO IST are
sharing responsibilities at Joplin. The EOC is working in coordination with Joplin EMD and
Joplin FD. Eureka FD K-9's are also working with Joplin FD. There are reports of numerous self
deployed fire and search resources, however a comprehensive resource status is not
available for self deployed or local mutual aid assets. 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
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
ESF #6 – There are two new shelters opened. One is the 1st Baptist Church (904 Oneida
Seneca, MO) and the other is in Hollister at the Salvation Army (1114 Stanley Blvd, Hollister,
MO). Red Cross has established a website for blood donations in the impacted area. They are
looking for a larger warehouse for food and water storage. There are three shelters in place
with a population of 178 people. United Way has received 1142 calls. Shelter at 701 S. Maiden
Ln. in Joplin housing 34 people. Shelter at Missouri Southern State Univeristy at 3950 E.
Newman Road in Joplin at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center housing 143 people. Shelter at
4311 E. Newman Rd in Joplin has an unspecified number of people, not answering phone.
Locating a larger warehouse for unsolicited donations. Monitoring shelter populations.
Spontaneous pet shelters are going up. A synopsis of the current messaging in relation to
Mass Care and Volunteers:
For friends and family to check on their loved ones in the affected area:
Spontaneous Volunteers (Non Medical) : (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1
Local Red Cross (Greater Ozarks Chapter): (417) 832-9500
ESF #7- Identifying a warehouse location for ESF #6. Working on requests for ice and
generators. Working with surrounding states to locate additional cadaver dogs. EMAC urban
search and rescue deployment contracts end on Thursday so a decision will be made on
whether or not to extend the request for the same teams, bring in additional assets, or
dismiss them altogether. Working requests for oxygen bottles through DHSS and generator
related issues. Resourced 20 light towers to Joplin. 10 of these towers are on site and 5 will
arrive shortly. Resourced two generators for Sarcoxie. Currently working on EMAC requests.
There have been three EMAC requests so far; One for information only, one for a USAR Team
request, and one for an ambulance strike team.
ESF #8 – Working on getting a mobile medical unit to Joplin to assist the hospital. A portable
morgue is now in place. Mental Health has two crisis counselors in place. Mental health is
attempting to coordinate with local faith based groups. 1000 tetanus shots will be in Joplin,
and another 300 in Jasper county. These shots are available to the general public at the Joplin
Health Dept and the Jasper county health dept. Disaster Morgue will be operational today, no
address is known yet. Mental Health reports they are trying to locate individuals that they
currently provide service to. They are asking these people to contact the 1-800 Mental Health
Crisis Hotline at 1-800-494-7355. Public Health has administered 15 tetanus shots. Currently
working resource requests. Two Disaster Medical Assistance Teams are moving into Joplin to
ESF #10 – Have identified regulatory facilities. EPA has set up a command post and deployed
to Joplin. Planning to begin air monitoring for asbestos in the Joplin area. EPA has confirmed
RMP facilities are secure, as are radiological facilities. Tier 2 facilities will be checked next.
There has been one confirmed anhydrous ammonia release of 3000-5000 pounds that
occurred in east Joplin, which has been contained. EPA is en route to support assessment and
response. Identifying RMP and Tier Two facilities , including UST and AST locations, and
working with the Dept. of Agriculture Weights and Measures to determine if there have been
any Hazmat releases. They are creating staging areas for disposal and cleanup of household
ESF #11 – There are four poultry houses that have possibly been damaged.
ESF #12 – Empire Electric reports 14,600 without
power. Ameren reports 16,000 without power
and expect to have most of those back up today. 8 major fuel distributors in Joplin have
experienced extensive damage and have made arrangements for fuel trucks to be moved into the
area. 26th and Pearl substation was destroyed by tornado. KCP&L is sending 45 linemen today,
and another 45 after storms pass through the Kansas City area.
AT&T reports 4700 customers out of service. Empire reports storms in the area is hampering
efforts. Distribution assessment is beginning today and will continue into Tuesday morning.
First mutual aid call was held today. There are 45 Empire linemen and 15 tree trimmers on
site and 206 contract lineman are on the way or on site. They have 30 ground work and debris
removal contractor workers and an Empire liaison is assigned to the Joplin EOC
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
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.
Public Service Commission reports that telephone contact with Empire Gas is very sporadic
making outage information difficult to obtain.
ESF #13 – Providing relief to local law enforcement. Assisting with checkpoints. There are
currently 110 troopers and a mobile command vehicle with 4 communications personnel on
scene. Continuing to augment Joplin Police Department. 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 – Things are slowing down, and media inquiries are looking for fatality numbers and
the next place to take the story (success stories, volunteer stories, etc…) Releasing
information for individuals who need replacement food stamps. Public Information Officers
from the Dept. of Health, Corrections, and MSHP have been staffing the JIC today. 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 – Assisting ESF #6 to transport a mobile medical unit from Taney County to
Joplin.There are 217 soldiers total working the disaster. There are currently 191 troops on the
ground and 200 more on alert. National Guard leadership is on the ground in Joplin and are in
direct coordination with civilian authorities at the county and state level.There are 139 troops
on the ground and more have been requested.
ESF #17 – Total animal shelter population is 108. There are two animal shelters set up.
Supporting shelters and assessing where needs are currently.
FEMA – Will have an ESF #10 representative at SEMA today. The Corps of Engineers is working
with FEMA and the Joplin EOC.