In the late afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011, a devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck Joplin. 162 people were killed.
The damage to property was dramatic. In total, nearly 7,000 houses were destroyed (most of which were flattened or blown away) and over 850 others were damaged.
While being driven around "The Zone" today I was struck by the incredible cleanup that had taken place. Residents had begun building homes, churches, and businesses.
I was also drawn to the many trees that had withstood the power of the tornado. They were stripped bare of bark, leaves, and most of their branches. Most had small leaves, appearing on their empty frames, even in Fall- and like the people of Joplin- standing tall and fighting back.