Joplin Tornado Situation Report 8 a.m. May 25
NEW INFORMATION IN BOLD
Significant storms in the area halted search and rescue operations on Tuesday evening.
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 mph.
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 – 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 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.
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: 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: 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 fully functional.
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: Primary and secondary search and rescue (SAR) missions have been
completed. Missouri Task 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
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
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: 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
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
ESF #11: There are four poultry houses that have possibly been damaged.
ESF #12: As of 5 a.m., power outages dropped
for Ameren (2960) and NewMac (<50),
while Empire Electric increased (>16,000) because of first-time reports coming in as people
return home. 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. 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 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
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: 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 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.