Google Maps Visualizes The Path of the Joplin Tornado

Clearly, 2011 belongs to the tornadoes.

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Google Maps Visualizes The Path of the Joplin Tornado
[ Social Media]

It’s been an incredibly destructive tornado season in 2011, if you can pardon the understatement. Even after over 300 people were killed by tornado strikes in Alabama, the strike in Joplin, Missouri further emphasized just how devastating these storms can be. While the Joplin disaster did not take as many lives as the Alabama strikes, it’s doubtful there’s any solace in that fact for Joplin residents.

The death toll in Joplin reached over 100 people, and while there have been some rather unfortunate responses from misguided politicians, by and large, reaction has been swift and heartfelt. There’s also a great deal of data-mining going on, as people flock to the Internet looking for whatever information they can find.

On Google Maps, there’s a visualization of the path the tornado took while ripping Joplin apart. There’s also a map showing the various business and properties that were struck, both of which can be embedded.

The tornado’s path:

View Joplin, MO Tornado in a larger map


View May 22, 2011 – Joplin tornado strike in a larger map

In the path map, the path is designated by fuchsia line, while the starting point is marked in red and the dissipation point marked in green. The placemarks indicate businesses and neighborhoods. The information contained here paints a disturbing, but educational video concerning the destructive power of tornadoes, as if the Alabama and Joplin aftermaths didn’t do so already.

A hat-tip to the Ozark Storms blog for pointing the path map out.

There’s also a YouTube video of the tornado’s storm cell formation, as seen from space. If it wasn’t so deadly, it would be beautiful:

Another video shows the devastation from the eyes of a helicopter. Words cannot do the scenes justice:

In case you need additional visual evidence of the mass destruction, here’s the before and after picture that’s blowing up on BuzzFeed:


After seeing these images, it almost breaks my heart to read about the federal government’s bickering over disaster funds, something the Kansas City Star detailed quite clearly:

This brings us to a rather shameful debate now taking place in, of course, Congress.

To its credit, a key House panel has approved an additional $1 billion in federal relief money to respond to a spring of natural disasters. But as soon as cries for help were heard, lawmakers pounced on the chance to make partisan points.

House Republicans are starting to demand that disaster relief funds be balanced with cuts in other areas of federal spending, essentially using human tragedy to advance their political agenda.

Thankfully, the scores of volunteers who’ve responded to the destruction caused by these tornado strikes don’t share the same kind of motivations.

Google Maps Visualizes The Path of the Joplin Tornado
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  • Smarter Than the Ordinary Bear

    House Republicans are starting to demand that disaster relief funds be balanced with cuts in other areas of federal spending, essentially using human tragedy to advance their political agenda. – While I see this weather event as devastating to all the people of Joplin and my prayers go out to them – I suppose boneheads like you just think that money grows on trees or that you are ok with Washington DC printing more of it to come to the rescue (sorry but thats what INSURANCE COMPANIES are for) and ultimately to devalue my savings even further and yours too you douche of course you probably don’t have any savings because your intention is to always have your hand out for the government to fix all your problems

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      Oh, stop. They have a responsibility to protect their constituents. Period. Bickering about money in a time like this is abjectly pathetic.

      Furthermore, I wonder why folk like yourself never ask “where’s the money” when it comes to the Iraq invasion, but yet, you willing defend behavior such as described in my article. Truly, truly amazing.

      • Brynn

        I bet you would feel differently if your house and entire community was ripped to shreds and people you knew died from it. You’d think differently if you had no job, home, clothes, not even water to take a shower, or a place to lay down at night in safety. Sometimes insurance money isn’t enough. The only bonehead here is you. What a selfish, cruel thing to say.

    • Jack

      Do you know how much money the US collects in property Tax every year, in income tax and in every fuking tax they can ge??

      where is that money? why are we short? why do we borrow so much? where the hell does our money go to that we can even afford helping americans! Dumbass like bear are sheep.. they like to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it..

  • Smarter Than the Ordinary Bear

    Furthermore I will be sending a donation through the Salvation Army to help the people of Joplin – Because I DO NOT EXPECT the government to fix everything – A PROUD CONSERVATIVE here!!

  • mr. ed

    bear–shame on you.

    • Jeff

      No, shame on you David. I spent the day helping in Joplin today and am donating money, gas, tools, and time. You just want to take the easy path and pretend the government will fix everything. In reality they will just take money from people and give it to their political cronies and buy votes. Then people like you will use a tragedy like Joplin to promote your socialist views.

  • David

    Average bear’s comments reinforce why I hate Goddamned Republicans. As long as the rich bastards get their share from the government and some other people’s share also, fuck the people who really need it. Let’s all go pretend the needs of the people are someone else’s problem.

  • jcalhoun

    It seems to me the first “partisan political” comment on here was by Mr. Richardson asserting that House Republicans were “starting to demand…” right after stating that a key House panel (which is controlled by those same Republicans) had just approved $1 Billion. Typical Democrat BS.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      I’m sorry if I don’t agree using the lives of others to secure a financial windfall for some kind of special interest. Actually, I’m not. Not one bit.

      As for Calhoun and Bear, do you ever stop for a moment and realize, “damn, I’m actually trying to defend these scumbags?” If so, how does it feel?

      • Jeff

        You’re the one trying to secure a financial windfall for special interests! It seems the Republicans are trying to reduce the money going to special interests in order to help those in Joplin instead while you want to use the Joplin tragedy to increase the national debt. Think about it… or continue to let you political bent blind you into thinking the government will save you from everything.

        BTW, I’ve been helping in Joplin. Every insurance company I can think of has huge mobile claim centers set up and many are driving to the homes of their customers in the affected area that they haven’t heard from yet. The owner of the home I was helping at today said he expects to get his check tomorrow. I’m no fan of big companies but it seems they’re doing pretty good considering how evil they are always being portrayed by those like you on the left.

  • Brynn

    And by the way, I vote republican. And side with aiding the victims through more government funding. Nobody complained when we used our troops in Japan after their earthquake, which cost us all tax dollars. And if you did complain, again, cruel and heartless. Why is it we are so ready to aid other countries like Japan and Haiti but not our own? Watching the budget is a top priority, but it shouldn’t start with trimming funds for disaster relief. Maybe the salaries of the house and senate members should be budgeted first. They havent cared about the growing debt enough to change it yet, why start now when these people in my community and other disaster sites need the funds the most??

    • Fong

      Listen to yourselves! Each side casting aspersions, name calling and making inflammatory remarks designed to polarize. We Americans are in big, big trouble – all of us. Will we work together to get back on the right track, or will we go down with the ship fighting each other?

      • Shannon

        So true

  • Shannon

    If you are an American who gave money to a foreign country and not your own, shame on you.

  • Mstiff

    I live in Joplin where this tornado took half our town and half the population! You see things like this on TV like the movie Twister and never think it can happen to you. REALITY…it does, and it did! I was truly blessed to still have a home and a job. But others were not as fortunate. I woke this morning in tears as i held my 1 year old daughter just thinknin of the possibilities that could of been. Many lives were taken, including small children and babies. These people were left with nothing and will have nothing for a long time. You truly cant understand until it is you and the people you know and love. I mysef struggle as a single mother…but will give my last dollar to help those with NOTHING!! I have a home ad a job to go to..they dont. so keep your selfihness to yourself and if you dont want to help then that is your right..but dont ask for help when your on the other end of the stick! If we as people and as a community, a country dont come together then we will never overcome anything. Open your heart and ralize that no matter how far you are..we are all still a part of america, ONE WORLD< ONE LIFE…togetehr we can make a difference

    • Joplin Guy

      I have lived and worked in Joplin all my life. I have not been directly affected but indirectly in that I have family and many dear friends that have lost everything up to and including their lives. At least 40 of my friends where I have worked for over 20 years have lost their homes. My very elderly widow mother-in-law has sustained damage to her home that I will have to address. A niece and her family have lost all but their lives. I have been in the wreckage helping where I can. So you know I speak from experience and from my heart. I don’t see the House Republican stance as insensitive but rather realistic. Just as I reallocate my money (cancel Memorial weekend trip) to help others, why wouldn’t the Fed do the same to balance their budget. The GOP did not say they were going to deny Joplin, just that the money has to come from somewhere. Seems reasonable to me. I do however see Mr. Richardson’s comments following the word “spending” as unneccessary, devisive and an effort to spin his own bias into a story that should be about the victims in my town. Shameful. By the way, I hold the GOP just as responsible for their idiotic spending sprees. Mstiff is right, we have to come together to right our ship. Having my feet on the ground here I can tell you that the real help has not come from the federal government, but rather the churches, charities, businesses, and numberless volunteers that have come form near and far to help. Literally has brought tears to my eyes to see the generosity. Isn’t that the way it should be. People helping because they want to of their own free will and not because money is stripped from them in the way of taxes to be spent by the high and mighty (GOP & Dems) in Washington D.C. how they see fit with revenues devoured by bureaucracy. GOD bless you all that are willing to come together and help those in need all across this great nation.

      • everybodys mama

        God Bless you for a intelligent response, the republicans never said the Fed. Government was not going to ante up, just that some juggling would be required, I suggest that juggling begin with the money we give to other country’s to “promote” democracy. When our taxpayers are struggliing our money should stay here!

      • veritasguardian

        Well said, Joplin guy. I checked out this site to see storm damage photos, videos and stories, for informational purposes, only to be saddened and somewhat offended by Mr. Richardson beginning a partisan political comment. Shame on him for politicizing such a tragic event to further his own political purposes. (Leave it to the left to start an argument – they seem to start a lot of political disputes). As Christians, we are called to help those in need. Biblically, it is the role of the church and individual Christians to help their neighbor, NOT that of a secular government. You see, a secular goverment is usually motivated by power and control, whereas, ideally, the church is supposed to be motivated by the love of Christ to help others. When we are motivated by Christ’s love, we help others because we truly WANT to, NOT because we feel compelled to by the government nor anything else. That is why I will gladly support PRIVATE relief agencies, such as Samaritans Purse, and other organizations that have disaster relief teams already on the ground in Joplin and other hard-hit areas. Last month, my hometown in North Carolina was hit by deadly tornadoes, so, I too, have some first-hand experience, albeit indirectly, with tornado damage. I can tell you that most people there seemed to be relying on the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other organizations who were already serving victims within a day of the storm. Meanwhile, it took FEMA longer to set up shop, because of all the red tape it had to go through.

      • Sullivan Guy

        Will of the people you say??? Hmmmm… there’s an intersting idea. For all those reading this post, you need to read what “Joplin Guy” says 10 times over… and bring this knowledge with you for the rest of your life!! HE GETS IT !! Do you expect our financial & social problems to be fixed by the same institution that screwed it up in the first place? I understand “checks & balances”… with that being said both Republicans & Democrats have got us into this mess. Will of the people folks. The Fed Gov’t is an inefficient money pit. This is about getting your lazy butt off the couch and helping those in need. Who made it the Feds responsibility to do this? WILL OF THE PEOPLE !! Nothing will make your own soul feel better than getting out there and helping those in need.

  • Dean

    Map is off a long way. I saw houses totally demolished on the west side of Schifferdecker and spotty damage with some houses totaled west of Blackcat road in Iron Gates.

  • Jo Ann Mounce

    I feel so sorry for the citizens of Joplin. The emotional damage is the most devastating.

    When our house and community was damaged three times by tornadoes, no government agency helped us. I sat on the porch in a daze for two weeks. I kept trying to go somewhere to get help and all I would do is turn around and go home. No one came. The forestry people cut trees in the front yard. Then, the insurance company said that the trees were never there. I heard FEMA gave big loans to people that could not pay back and so lost their homes. We had insurance with STATE FARM. They were terrible. They had my husband apologizing for the tornado striking our home. Ours was the last house fixed. It is so frustrating trying to get someone to start to rebuild and/or fixed up the damage.

  • Marc Van Dis

    Our government sends billions of dollars to other countries every day. why not make a few “cuts” of those budgets and help our own citizens in dire need!

  • john

    Mr Richardson, I worked with a group of over 500 volunteers from Sprinfgield, Mo. to help with the cleanup and recovery effort in Joplin this last weekend. Each person there has a job, pays way to much in taxes and has and family to support. Most of us will go back for the next several weekends or days off to try to ease the burden of our neighbors in Joplin until they have their needs met and can get back to their lives. There were thousands of other volunteers from various different groups there as well. The vast majority of volunteers we met are very conservative and want the government to stop the insane spending of our children’s and grand children’s futures.
    If you want someone to give more aid to relief efforts start by looking at the guy in the mirror and tell him to open his checkbook and start writing or get off his butt, put on some work clothes,pick up a shovel or chainsaw and go help. If you want to do some more writing, write an article in the WebProNews encouraging your readers to write a check instead of whining for the government to raise taxes so the politicians can decide what to spend it on. Shame on YOU for politicizing this terrible tragedy.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      I merely said the events in Joplin generated “rather unfortunate responses from misguided politicians,” and you’re saying I politicized it because I mentioned it in my article? Furthermore, it was ONE SENTENCE out of an article that discussed the disaster and even mentioned the volunteers.

      Regardless, thanks for your comments.


      • Joplin Guy

        (“….and you’re saying I politicized it because I mentioned it in my article?”)

        Yes. Let’s review.

        (“This brings us to a rather shameful debate now taking place in, of course, Congress.

        To its credit, a key House panel has approved an additional $1 billion in federal relief money to respond to a spring of natural disasters. But as soon as cries for help were heard, lawmakers pounced on the chance to make partisan points.

        House Republicans are starting to demand that disaster relief funds be balanced with cuts in other areas of federal spending, essentially using human tragedy to advance their political agenda.

        Thankfully, the scores of volunteers who’ve responded to the destruction caused by these tornado strikes don’t share the same kind of motivations.”)

        I am politely asking: Can you not see your own words and how politically biased and devisive they are?

        First, I will say that you are trying to put the republicans in a bad light to say the least. I for one am glad they are trying to “demand that disaster relief funds be balanced with cuts in other areas of federal spending”. If it is not “balanced” then what is it? The obvious answer is unbalanced.

        Second, I will indeed give you credit for a well written informitive article except the last portion. That portion has stolen what the entire thing should have been about. I will also ask you and your media brothers & sisters to hold both of our major parties accountable and to somehow reel in the irresponsible spending that has led to our outrageous debt. Rule number 1 when you are in a hole….”Quit digging”.

        Last, I will say that those that are helping and those in need of assistance are not Black or White. They are not Lutheran or Baptist. They are not Republican or Democrat. As the many Stars and Stipes that wave about our devastated city attest, they are as I am….American!

        GOD bless you all that are willing to come together and help those in need all across this great nation.

  • Sarah

    Democrat, republican, whatever, whoever. I don’t care about any of that. All I know is that thousands of people have poured into our community, regardless of their political viewpoint and donated their own resources from their own pocket. We are so proud and grateful for our fellow countrymen who step up and get out of their own little comfort zones in times of crises! Thank you!

    • Laura

      I used to live in Joplin. Lots of good, hardworking folks there. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Wish I could be there to help. Hang in there; know that people all over the U.S. are praying for you.

      Love, hugs, and prayers from a conservative Texan in California! God bless you and keep you.

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