At 5:34 p.m. CDT on May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado packing winds close to just over 200 mph (320 km/h) tore through the city of Joplin, Missouri. The tornado did not dissipate until 6:12 p.m. CDT. Later, damage surveys found that there were peak wind gusts at 225 to 250 mph (360 to 400 km/h).
Of the approximately 51,145 residents, 1,150 were injured, and 158 lives were claimed by this catastrophic tornado. This is the seventh-deadliest tornado in U.S. history. This violent tornado was recorded as the costliest single tornado in U.S. history, causing 2.8 million U.S. dollars in damage.
The American Red Cross stated that 25% of Joplin was completely destroyed, while the National Weather Service (NWS) declared that emergency managers surveyed that 75% of the city sustained some sort of damage.
In the aftermath of this devastating tornado, close to 7,000 homes were destroyed, and 850 others had some damage to them. There were also numerous buildings, businesses, and churches that were destroyed or damaged, including the St. Johns Hospital, and the Joplin High School.
May 22, 2011 will never be forgotten by the residents of Joplin, as it is a day that has forever changed their lives.