A Letter from Joplin – Part 3 – Homes and Offices Gone

This is the third installment of my Joplin sister’s letter about the tornado that hit just north of her family’s home.

Dillon's grocery story was destroyed in Joplin. Owned by Kroger, it will be rebuilt.

For almost two weeks a group of radio stations that one person owns (such as country, talk, lite rock) had tornado talk 24 hours a day.It was pretty addicting, listening to them and hearing the callers looking for friends and family or just information.

Then, someone else would call in to say they had seen that person, or could give someone a ride, or help them out with a place to stay, or even give a stranger a water tank.

A house standing, but severely damaged.

Several friends had most or all of their homes destroyed.

One couple had been hiding in their bedroom closet when the roof blew off of that and their bedroom. Their curio cabinet, filled with Lladros, and their china cabinet were untouched. Denny and I helped pack their breakables up and brought them to our house. I have told her she is not getting them back!

This Joplin home is definitely a teardown.

The tornado didn’t discriminate, as it also went through one area with very expensive homes (as well as others with more modest homes).

A destroyed dentist's office in Joplin.

23 dentists had their offices destroyed, including our neighbor, one of our best friends, and a member of Denny’s golfing group.Our dentist is using another dentist’s office one day a week. Then he will be renting a former Movie Gallery until he figures out whether to rebuild or not. He had just built a top of the line, gorgeous office, which was pretty much destroyed.

He was in the process of replacing a crown for me the week before the tornado hit. I have a temporary crown which I dislodged eating a gummy Dot.

I happened to see Pat (our dentist) golfing yesterday.

So I said how sorry I was about his office and, by the way, I broke my temporary crown.

I was lucky enough to get it replaced today.

That’s how it is, living in a relatively small town.

Of the twelve ladies in our Bunco group, 4 lost their homes and one more had 11 of their 18 rentals damaged.

The skeleton of St. Paul's Methodist Church.

One day at Catholic Charities, I was helping a group of college girls pack their SUV with lunches to take into neighborhoods. I asked if they had a place to stay that night, and they said their were heading home. The night before they gotten to stay at our very nice casino in a convention room.

So, I went back into the Catholic High school and offered to house volunteers.

I was thinking of a group of cute girls or boys, but instead got a middle aged man from Indiana.

He turned out to be a great guest. He helped out at two different charities and got to clear some yards and was totally worn out, but fulfilled. He said he’d like to bring his wife back in a couple of months.

More in this series over the next three days.

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