These pictures actually helped the state of Missouri get a handle on the damage from the Joplin, Missouri tornado so they could devise the best way to start the cleanup and recovery and how to continue it for months to come.
Joplin High School Destroyed By Tornado
This main photo is of Joplin High School at 21st & Indiana after it was destroyed by the EF-5 tornado with wind speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. In this case, we can be thankful this tornado hit on a Sunday. Can you imagine if it was a weekday when kids were there? Wow.
Investigators now say that tornado grew to about one mile wide and was on the ground for about six miles. Here are some before and after images. A GeoEye company, named M.J. Harden, took all of the images on this page using an aircraft with digital mapping technology.
Seeing the baseball fields surrounded by homes makes me feel like we could be looking at my neighborhood from the air. Perhaps you feel like it could be yours.
And finally, it’s the aftermath photo that just breaks your heart. You wonder…how can this happen?
And it shows the power of the fastest winds on earth (those of an EF-5 tornado) to damage and destroy. Very few structures can withstand something like this.
First it was Tuscaloosa. Then Joplin. Then Massachussetts. And in-between a whole bunch of places had an unprecdented year when it came to tornadoes.