Sunday, November 13, 2011

Joplin Update

We've just returned from dinner, our day is finally over.  We were expecting Saturday to be a short day, but it turned out to be not really so much.
We started out earlier today so we could tour the storm damage.  It's impossible for us to get the full effect without having seen the city before the tornado.  Many areas have been cleaned up pretty well, some have even been excavated.  Other areas have had little done since the tornado.  We were driving along and suddenly in front of use was a huge building in total destruction, it was the high school.  If there had been anything going on the that school when the storm hit the loss of life would have been horrific.
As we started down the street we could see across the valley to the hospital.  The damage to the hospital wasn't as horrific as the high school.  But with the mental images of a hospital as a place of safety and care, it was equally as unsettling.
On our way back we happened on to the church where nothing was left standing except the cross.  The cross is still standing in the empty lot.
We arrived at the distribution center and spent the morning stocking for the coming week.  The weekends tend to be when they get the most volunteers, but the fewest shoppers.  So they try to get things stocked up as much as they can for the coming week.
There was another group that arrived today from Tenessee.  This afternoon Joe and Travis drove the Penskey truck and went with the Tenessee group to move a family.  The described it as "Hoarders, Burried Alive".  They were anxioius to get back to the hotel to shower.
In the mean time the rest of us went to Lowes to buy bungee straps to keep the tarps down on the materials stored outside.  The wind continues to blow here, 40 mph gusts were predicted for today.  I belive they were every bit of that, and frequent.
They have a great deal of things stored outside.  Many of them things that really can't tolerate a lot of moisture like paper towel and toilet paper.  We spent a lot of extra time making sure things were double tarped, bungeed and weighted down to protect from the constant wind and the threat of rain overnight.
We took a trip inside the church to use the restroom and happened to meet the pastor in charge of their relief projects.  His name is Roger and we can contact him to get connected to help again at the distribution center and for construction projects.  Working at the distribution center is a great opportunity for prayer warriors.  Prayer with the survivors is a big part of the shopping experience and people who are comfortable praying with strangers is important.
We're planning to start for home at about 6:30 local time in the morning.  It will probably be between 8 & 9 when we make it home since we will probably have to stop to eat at least once.  I'll update you as we get nearer to home.