Situation Report

JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, GOVERNOR

Contact:

PAUL PARMENTER, SEMA DIRECTOR

Situation Report #: N09110051

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jefferson City

May 24, 2011

Joplin Tornado Situation Report

5 p.m. May 24

Summary

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.


Region A:

Lafayette County – residence destroyed with minor injuries.

Region C:

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/Cityreported power outages due to downed trees and lines. 52,000 power outages were reported in Region C

Region D:

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 to moderate 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 water 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 Joplin.

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 – 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 time.

Region E:

Mississippi CountyAt 1640 hours storms moved through the Charleston. The storms tore the roof off a business and damaged 6 vehicles. No injuries were reported.

Region H:

Andrew CountyAt 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 functional.

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 commander.

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 at Joplin Emergency Operations Center.   Team departed Region F at 0321 with an ETA in Joplin at 0600.

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 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 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 victims to let their friends and family know they are safe: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
 
For friends and family to check on their loved ones in the affected area:
https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php
 
Spontaneous Volunteers (Non Medical) : (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1
 
Medical Volunteers: https://www.showmeresponse.org/
 
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 assist.

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 chemicals.

ESF #11 – There are four poultry houses that have possibly been damaged.

ESF #12Empire 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 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 – 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.

For more information, call (573) 751-4819 or e-mail mike.oconnell@dps.mo.gov