My heartfelt condolences to those of you in Joplin, MO, which was hit by a devastating tornado on Sunday. So far, the death toll is at 116, an astounding figure. A third of the town is gone, if not more. When I was a kid, we passed through Joplin many times on our travels. If you want to have just a hint of what the terror was like, watch this video, taken by a Joplin resident as the tornado hit a convenience store that he was in. You can see just how black it is outside, and it's the middle of the day.
What I'm struck by is all these people were strangers minutes before, yet when they knew the shit was going to hit the fan, looked out for each other as if they were family and pulled together to make sure everyone had the best chance to survive as they endured the most terrifying moment of their lives.
And, here's a Flickr set of photos from a young man who photographed the destruction in his neighborhood minutes after the disaster.
I'd just posted about the rarity of tornadoes killing so many. There have been two record-breaking killer tornadoes in the last month alone. The death toll this year from tornadoes is almost at 500.