7 thoughts on “Before and After: AT&T store in Joplin”

  1. I always thought American houses were built of cardboard and paper, but this must have been made of something less sturdy.

    I know tornadoes can are very strong, so – er, if you allow the question – why don’t people in tornado-prone areas (like everything east of the Rockies) build their places properly?

      • I have seen more pictures by now, and am very much impressed. A chair shot into a concrete wall or a piece of wood shot through a sidewalk slab, that’s a serious issue. I guess most kind of architecture would have suffered, and it can’t be expected to build everything for that extreme case, true. But on the other hand, American houses are really built rather crappy nonetheless. It’s as if they didn’t even try… But I’d rather want to replace the roof and the windows than rebuild the entire building (after having lost literally everything). Anyway, I guess i was too offensive in my other comment. Sorry for that.

    • Several people lost their lives in this store on May 22nd, including a friend. Some people are just stupid beyond reason.

  2. I haven’t personally seen the entire area this tornado went through, but I know that a hospital that took a direct hit is badly damaged but is still standing. I believe it’s safe to assume it was a steel and concrete building. However, nearly every window was blown out and several deaths occurred there. I heard a report that someone was sucked out of a window. I personally saw both Home Depot and Walmart built of concrete block and they both collapsed. I’m sure they weren’t designed for 200 mph winds. Walgreens, only about 1 year old was much weaker with I suppose a stud type construction and brick veneer, and it was completely wiped away. I was surprised to see that level of destruction on that building. Other structures I saw included Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, and Long John Silvers just to name a few. They look pretty much like this AT&T store. Cars were missiles. Trees were debarked.

    I don’t know how the average homeowner can be expected to build a structure stronger than any of those buildings. The odds of being in the path of any tornado is pretty low even here in tornado alley This strong of a tornado is rare. Even rarer to plow through a city from one side to the other. Many structures in Joplin have stood without a problem for over 100 years. Some are gone from this tornado, many will continue to stand for many, many more years without a tornado ever touching them.

    I think Joplin is a very nice city and sort of wished I lived there instead of where I do. It might be even more attractive now. Thousands of new houses will be built. Hundreds of businesses will be rebuilt. The odds of another EF5 tornado happening again in Joplin has got to be pretty low. Not impossible to happen, but it’s hard to find a place anywhere where more than one tornado has taken the same path.

    • I see the destruction here in Joplin every day. I lost my store and my niece and nephew both lost their homes. That said, all of us are alive and well so we can deal with the losses we’ve sustained. It’s difficult, however, to look at the destruction every day. It doesn’t get easier. It’s been 2 weeks and is still overwhelming. When I look at the devastation all around, what hits me are the lost lives, the lost memories, and the upheaval of so many lives. The daughter of a friend died last night from injuries she sustained in the tornado. I think everyone in Joplin knows someone who has lost a loved one. That’s the tragedy. The homes and businesses will be replaced.

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