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Hope – Joplin, MO one month after the tornado

By: 22 June 2011 2 Comments

It’s been a month, to the day, since an EF-5 tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri.  It’s one of those major events we will look back on and say, “Where were you when the tornado hit Joplin?”

I know where I was… I was in my car on I-44 traveling back to NW Arkansas from St. Louis heading straight into the storm.  I had switched back to the radio after listening to my iPod just as one of the many emergency broadcast messages came over the airwaves warning everyone to take cover immediately.

At that point, I was near exit 22 just east of Highway 59 (exit 18), and they were predicting a tornado to touch down somewhere between exits 3 and 10.  WOW!  I was very close but still east of the storm front.  Thinking back, I can still sense God’s calming and directing hand on me, and I will forever be grateful for the grace that He showed me that day.

Through the use of smart phones, my family and friends were able to quickly re-route me away from the storm.  I can’t let myself think of what might have been.

This past Monday, I met one of my good friends from Michigan in Joplin.  Honestly, since I’ve seen so many pictures of the damage, I was not too overwhelmed.  And now, after analyzing it further, I think I was encouraged because what I witnessed was hope – even after all the tragedy and destruction, Joplin was filled with hope!

The community has rallied together, and so many people/organizations are giving so generously to help restore Joplin.  In one month, the people of Joplin have moved from experiencing disaster and assessing damage to cleaning up and rebuilding.  There is no doubt that this process will take years to complete, but Joplin definitely has hope.  Here are some of the pictures I took on Monday.

All pictures © 2011 Capture Me Photography by Nicole, LLC.  Find me on facebook here.

About: Nicole Pawlaczyk:
Devoted Believer. Blessed Wife & Mother. Degreed Engineer. Passionate Photographer.


  • Clemmie Hooper said:

    The reporter’s close call with almost driving straight into the Tornado, reminds me of my own. On a Trucking run in 1999, listening to an Audiobook instead of the Radio, I very narrowly missed driving straight into the F5 that tore through Oklahoma City.

    Well accustomed to keeping going in the rain, I did so – until it reached the point that I literally couldn’t see the windshield wipers moving across the glass. The most intense rain I’ve ever encountered. At that moment, an intense set of VERY CLOSE Lightning flashes illuminated an exit ramp, where I pulled off to wait out the storm. 10 minutes later, the rain stopped, and I resumed driving. Barely 3 miles down the road, I reached the scene where the F5 had crossed I-40, just moments before… and with the coldest chill I’ve ever felt, realized that if I hadn’t stopped where and when I did, I would have been RIGHT THERE when it crossed the highway – and probably wouldn’t be here to write this today.

    That’s the day I learned the importance of monitoring the Weather information, and taking it seriously. The next morning, as soon as I found a Radio Shack open, I added a Weather Radio to my road kit.

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