On Our Way to A Tragic Scene: Joplin, Mo

23/03/2019 Posted by admin

After a very educational and beneficial storm chase with Greg Johnson and team for the last week we have had to end our trip abruptly. This is due to the fact that a large tornado has wiped out parts of Joplin, Mo and we are currently required to help out Global National with providing coverage and updates over the next few days reguarding this storm. This tornado has been described as 3/4 miles wide and had the same type of wedge structure as the Tuscaloosa, Al tornado on April 27, 2011. This supercell storm produced what is known as a right moving tornado. There were clear indications on the radar of a hook echo (a distinguishable radar signature weather experts look for). Once this was seen the people of Joplin had 20 minutes to react. The result on the evening of May 22, 2011 was mass destruction for parts of this city of approximately 50 000 people.

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Myself and Martin Weaver (Global Regina videographer) are currently staying just south-west of Joplin approximately 20 minutes away. Last night when driving to our hotel we passed a convoy of emergency vehicles on their way to aid in this catastrophe. This morning when we woke up around 7am there was a severe warned storm headed directly for Joplin as well as the area that we’re in. I have never seen the sky quite as dark as I did this morning. This of course would be the absolute worse situation for the people in Joplin who were working endlessly though the night and today to rescue victims.

We will be reporting LIVE there on Global National this evening (5:30 EST) and also for Global Regina on the Evening News at 6pm. Please stay tuned to my twitter account: jwhittalglobal for updates throughout the day.

I know I’m in for a tough emotional day, I have never been on the scene of something like this before. I can’t imagine what this day will bring. My eyes tear up when I think of what these people have had to endure over the last 12-24 hours. My thoughts are with everyone affected. Greg Johnson and the rest of the team are offering their assistance with search and rescue when we arrive there very shortly.

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