It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joplin, Two Weeks After the Tornado

Here are pictures of Joplin MO which I took the day before yesterday. Neither the pictures nor the maps can do this thing justice. Driving the length of the damage track is a sobering experience. (Click on images for higher resolution.)

The large building in the third photo was in the core track of the tornado. It was the main regional hospital, evacuated after the tornado. Smaller buildings were in some cases so reduced to rubble that the location of the building is indiscernible. Three story brick structures are about a story and a half high. Massive utilitarian metal structures are twisted into sculptural shapes.

There are probably still a hundred corpses in the rubble. The streets themselves have been cleared with remarkable effectiveness. A modest but steady traffic of cars drives up and down the devastated streets, looking for something or someone.


Steve L said...

Is the last part, about the streets being clear juxtaposed with the building rubble remaining, a comment on the importance placed on transport versus the replaceability and disposable nature of locations (homes, even hospitals)?

They should keep some of the twisted metal sculptures.

dhogaza said...

Well, ISTM that clearing the streets would've been a priority for getting rescue workers in, and hauling away destroyed bits of buildings also requires that trucks be brought in so you want the roads clear.

What does it take to haul off the debris? Does the local government do it after the owners give permission? Insurance companies involved? I have no idea ... in theory as a property owner could I say "just leave the trash onsite, it's mine" ??? Or are there emergency declarations that override property rights?

In the gruesome cases where the homeowners where killed, does there have to be some chain of inheritance established before relatives can take action?

I have lots of questions and zero answers, fortunately I've not had to deal with anything worse than having my car totaled by someone who was insured and at fault, and that was simple ...

paulina said...

Hard to wrap your head around.

The first few images remind me of Chris Jordan's Midway: Message from the Gyre:
Devastation dotted with bright plastic colors.

I tried to share some of my thoughts on the local June 1 storm, here: