On the second day after a gigantic tornado ripped apart Joplin, Missouri, 116 are confirmed dead, making it the deadliest single tornado in U.S. history. New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter has been on the ground in the town since yesterday, posting haunting photos like the one above to his Twitter account. Perhaps even more haunting is the opening of this story he co-wrote with A.G. Sulzberger on the carnage at the town hospital.
When the warning — “Execute Condition Gray!” — blared through the halls of St. John’s Regional Medical Center, nurses began rolling patients’ beds into the hallways, as they had been trained to do time and again in this tornado-prone region.
But just as workers were completing the precautionary steps Sunday night, the entire nine-story building was pummeled by a tornado. Glass shards exploded from every window, doors blew open, and even patients’ IV-lines were ripped from their arms.
By the time the three-quarter-mile-wide tornado — among the deadliest in the nation’s history — moved on, the hospital was a scene of stunned chaos. Nearly every patient was splashed or covered with blood from all the glass, and people in the emergency room on the first floor were sucked out of windows into the parking lot. Even a backup generator failed, leaving ventilators and other medical equipment without power in dark rooms.
Ugh. Asking for disaster relief donations is getting all too common, but if you’d like to make a donation to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief, you can visit its online donation page and enter the zip code for Joplin, 64801, to make sure that the money will be directed to their local Joplin chapter. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.