The Joplin tornado struck on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 5:41pm (all of which was recreated in our exercise shown in the video above). The tornado was a catastrophic EF5-rated multiple-vortex tornado that was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile as it tore through the city of 52,000.
It was graduation week in the Missouri community which meant that aside from church services beginning at the time of the hit, there were graduation parties and a large number of folks visiting from out of town.
Overall, the tornado killed 158 people, injured approximately 1,150 others, and caused damages amounting to a total of $2.8 billion.
We chose the Joplin scenario in order to film and recreate an exercise that would resonate with responders across the country as Joplin saw responders from every state during the aftermath and cleanup. Unfortunately, during the process, our own photo event was cut short due to the threat from an approaching tornado and the rising waters.