Being a California transplant and having moved to Missouri about five years ago, the one thing I hate is tornadoes. On Sunday evening we were told during our youth group meeting a tornado had touched down in the Joplin, MO area and was heading our way. We live approximately 60 miles due east of Joplin, which is not a great distance for a tornado to travel. You may recall that some of the tornadoes that hit the southern states traveled over 300 miles.
As I arrived home, my wife had the TV tuned to our local station. Sure enough, a massive tornado had struck Joplin and the storm was on its way towards us. We headed over to our local high school that has a storm shelter rated to protect against F5 tornadoes, which we later learned are the size of the tornado that struck Joplin, MO. We were lucky in that the storm turned south and missed us.
From watching the news reports, one of the major problems people are having is locating their loved ones. The Joplin Globe newspaper has set up a Facebook page where you can go and find family, friends, or loved ones who may be missing.
I glanced at several pages and this seems to be working. People are actually making contact with those who were missing. This afternoon the N.Y. Times reported that about 1,500 people were unaccounted for. I would venture a guess that some of those who are missing were out of town, had been evacuated, or had fled the area when the warnings sounded.
This site gives hope to those who are looking for family or friends and that these people are in fact safe.