May 23, 2011

Man Films Joplin Tornado As It Strikes Convenience Store - Video

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Joplin, Missouri (The Weekly Vice) - In Joplin, Missouri, a deadly tornado struck Sunday night that claimed 116 lives (by last count). The storm cut a 7-mile wide path through the city, flattening about 1/3 of the town's buildings. Cars were folded like tin cans. Trees were stripped of their leaves, branches and bark.

I can give you more numbers and statistics, but that won't really make an event like this seem all that real to you. The video above should give you a pretty good idea of what it was like.

The first video was filmed at a Conoco Fastrip gas station where people took refuge from the coming tornado.

Although it appears to be very dark outside - keep in mind this video was shot around 5:45 p.m..

At 1.20, someone still caught outside appears to me knocking on the glass doors to be let in - a half minute before all hell breaks loose.

At 1:20 people begin to realize that the tornado isn't going to pass by - it's knocking on the door, literally.

At 1.50 a teenager realizes that she's left her phone out in the car.

At 2:05 you can hear parts of the structure give way - likely the fence and dumpster from behind the store.

At 2:10 a woman asks if they should go into the beer cooler - a suggestion that likely saved everyone's life. One second later the store's large windows are sucked away with such force, the sound of shattering glass is not heard.

Once inside the cooler, people continue to reassure one another as both walls of the funnel move across the store.

At 5:22 you can hear a small child crying "I love you mama".

At the end of the video, the camera catches a quick glimpse of the destruction that awaits them outside.

The Google Street View camera above lets you pan around the building. It's amazing to hear such destruction going on - even from inside a brick building.

The second video was footage shot of the convenience store after the storm. Amazing stuff.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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