Joplin Tornado Situation Report 12 p.m. May 25
NEW INFORMATION IN BOLD
Significant storms in the area halted search and rescue operations on Tuesday evening.
Wednesday morning search and rescue operations resumed.
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: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 10am. Increasing
clouds, with a high near 75. Southwest wind between 14 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 29
Tonight: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a low around 53.
West wind between 14 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Thursday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. North wind between
9 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 7am. Some of the storms could be
severe. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Breezy, with a south wind between 13 and 22 mph,
with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
Tonight: Showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1am. Some of the storms could be
severe. Low around 62. South southwest wind between 11 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as
24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Thursday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 71.
West wind between 13 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
Today: Occasional showers and thunderstorms. Some storms could be severe, with large hail,
damaging winds, and heavy rain. High near 82. Breezy, with a south wind between 11 and 20
mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Tonight: Occasional showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1am. Some of the storms
could be severe and produce heavy rainfall. Low around 62. South wind 7 to 14 mph becoming
west. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Thursday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 67. Northwest
wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
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 – Missouri Task Force One, Kansas City and Oklahoma teams have been
dismissed. St. Louis team will be working with the cadaver dogs. The Freeman Hospital is
taking all priority 1 patients and the St. John's Hospital is taking all level two, three, and four
patients. All grids have been searched except two; grids D12 and D16. Self deployed
volunteers are being organized and identified with an id card system. Confirmed fatality
count is now 123; shelter populations at 503. Operations suspended overnight to continue
during daylight hours only. Tertiary search and rescue continues, and cadaver dogs have
begun searching Joplin. Joplin requested additional law enforcement officers to supplement
the current contingent, and Jasper County 911 indicated that additional 911 operators may be
needed. 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 Street
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 – At 0800 hours the Bull Shoals Lake was at 695.32 and Lake Taneycomo was at
707.64. At 0900 hours the Table Rock Lake was at 933.72. There are 21 road and bridge closures
at this time. The Salvation Army opened a shelter and had zero population overnight. 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.
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 Taneycomo has flooded several homes.
ESF #1: MoDOT (MO Department of Transportation) working with Joplin Public works to
continue clearing debris during daylight hours. All arterial and collector streets in Joplin have
been cleared of debris. 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: The Highway Patrol Command Post was moved last night to the area of the Emergency
Operations Center in Joplin. Coordinating communications with MO National Guard & moving
out of command post. 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
ESF #3: Joplin Public Works (PW) anticipates that deployment of their equipment and the
equipment and assistance they have been/ are receiving from MoDOT will be sufficient for
current efforts. In addition, Joplin PW is requesting five 4-person teams from the SAVE
Coalition to perform damage assessment around the perimeter of the tornado damage path.
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: IST operations will continue on 24 hours shifts through Thursday, May 26th, and
will run a twelve hour day shift through Sunday, May 29th. A total of 13 K-9 cadaver teams
have been assigned to the incident. There is an unknown number of freelance teams on the
scene. ESF #9 is currently filling a request for 17 more teams. Force 1 (MOTF1) and all SAR
teams (except Region C) have been demobilized. SAR operations Region C's team will
perform a tertiary-level SAR mission. Eighteen cadaver dog teams arrived and began search
patterns. SAR efforts will occur during daylight hours only. 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: Joplin's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) anticipates switching to daylight
activation only by 5/25, barring unforeseen circumstances. The State Emergency Operations
Center will be operating 24 hours a day until further notice.
ESF #6: Department of Social Services (DSS) staff working with American Red Cross (ARC) at
the ARC Shelter at Missouri Southern. New shelter opened at McAuley Catholic High School
(930 S Pearl Ave, Joplin) to house 100+ evacuees from the Whispering Pine Senior Living
Center and any other community residents affected by the tornado. The four shelters opened
as a result of the Joplin tornado reported a midnight population of approximately 500, and
the two shelters opened as a result of flooding have a midnight population of 17. There are
two new shelters opened. One is the 1st Baptist Church (904 Oneida St., 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: Processed requests for generators (Joplin Public Works, 2; Dept of Mental Health
(DMH), 1 for Prescription Registration Center in Joplin; Sarcoxie, 2 for community center), and
fuel (process put in place on fuel routes to supply generators as needed. Ice resource request
for Sarcoxie was canceled because power was restored. Identified potential warehouse space
across southwest MO to handle donations for ESF 6. 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: The Dept of Mental Health (DMH) opened up a new local crisis and coordination
phone line, (417) 347-7070, at Ozark Mental Health. A 50-bed Mobile Medical Unit (MMU)
scheduled to arrive in Joplin on Thursday, and the Disaster Mortuary Operations Response
Team (DMORT) began setting up in Joplin and working on victim ID. State and local public
health departments conducting sanitation inspections of food preparation, retail, and
feeding sites, with the first priority being shelters and mobile first responder feeding sites,
followed by restaurants, grocery stores, and other retail sites). All sites are anticipated to be
inspected at least once, and some twice, by the end of the week. The Food & Drug
Administration (FDA), is in Joplin to inspect 30 food processing/storage and medical device
facilities. ESF 8 staff continue to track patients transported to hospitals and other medical
facilities outside of Joplin. Jasper County and Joplin Public Health Departments continue to
offer and administer Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis vaccinations. 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 assist.
ESF #10: DNR and EPA are contacting Tier 2 facilities. 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 chemicals.
ESF #11: There are four poultry houses that have possibly been damaged.
ESF #12: Ameren reported power outages of 1400,
New Mac less than 50, and Empire
Electric 14,000. Power was restored to Granby and Diamond once the 12kV circuits were repaired.
KCPL is sending 60 people today to assist with restoring power to several major areas in Joplin. 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
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 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.
Public Service Commission reports that telephone contact with Empire Gas is very sporadic
making outage information difficult to obtain.
ESF #13: The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) has 133 troops deployed to Joplin. Joplin
Police Department (PD) requested supplement of 20 officers per 12-hour shift (to total 80
officers per shift); MSHP is coordinating with the Missouri Sheriff's Association to provide the
additional officers. 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 #14: Reported to State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
ESF #15: Primary focus is providing severe weather alerts via press releases and developing
an event summary. 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: Missouri National Guard is augmenting law enforcement with a total of 200 troops
deployed. MO National Guard (MONG) currently has 213 troops assisting the MO State
Highway Patrol (MSHP). 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 200
troops 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.
ESF #17: An increase in pop-up animal shelters is being found and the animals are being
transported to Joplin. The current animal shelter population is 289. 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.