I've read that the Joplin tornado ranks as the 7th deadliest ever in U. S. history. In terms of the amount of property damage, however, I'm sure it ranks quite a bit higher than 7th. The amount of devastation is mind-boggling.
Even now, over five weeks since that fateful Sunday evening when everything changed in Joplin, I can barely fathom the scenes that I continue to witness every day. It's still hard to come to grips with the idea that the Joplin many of us have known and loved for years no longer exists. Driving down 26th Street only a few minutes ago, I was struck once again by how much of the town is simply gone. Yes, we'll rebuild, and Joplin will once again be a vibrant, industrious town, but it has been forever changed. A few years down the road, Joplin may even come out of this stronger than ever, but it still won't be the same Joplin that I've known for 37 years.