An archive of my tweets from Joplin, May 23-24, so that I have a record of them.
— I’ll try to process some of this and share some thoughts later about my first time trying to help cover a disaster.
— Thanks, all, for the kind words about the #Joplin tweets, images & stories. Out of Missouri now. My colleagues remain on the ground there.
— Employees at the ruined #Joplin hospital joke that they’re looking for new jobs. There’s certainly plenty to do. http://nyti.ms/jjIYuw
— Here’s my last dispatch from #Joplin, about the preparations for further search & rescue there: nyti.ms/jjIYuw
— One more pic from #Joplin Monday. A barren hill.http://instagr.am/p/EqLc2/
— If you’re just waking up: the NYT’s main story out of #Joplin:nyti.ms/l46uGB & my sidebar about 1 family: nyti.ms/lPmruz
— In today’s NYT: live storm chases are now being broadcast to viewers nationwide. http://nyti.ms/lOBx5Y
— Eight employees of the local paper in #Joplin lost their homes in the storm, notes “The Early Show” on CBS.
— Answering those of you who have (very kindly) asked: I haven’t slept yet, but I will take a nap later this a.m. Going back to Chicago soon.
— RT @NBCNews: Speaking from London, President Obama says he will travel to Joplin, Mo. on Sunday to assess tornado damage.
— Coming up at the top of the hour, I’m joining @CelesteHeadle on The Takeaway radio program. Again at 7am ET I think.
— RT @chucktodd: POTUS to make statement on Joplin devastation in a few minutes // In time for the network morning shows.
— Working on morning NYT story about the rescue efforts in #Joplin. Wrapping up my coverage. 24 May @ @juliemmoos thanks. yeah. I really just helped a bit w/ the A1. filing a morning story soon, then done.
— “At least I am still here:” RT @Jeepdreamz: I lost my house and car but at least I am still here. Just a few bruises and scratches. #Joplin
— Pic from earlier tonight: a MASH-like set-up across from the wrecked hospital.http://instagr.am/p/Ep0wh/
— Pic from earlier tonight: men recycling rubble to put up a medical tent.http://instagr.am/p/Ep0kP/ 24 May @ @JackieWellbaum I never post ads or endorsements. I was showing people my HQ for tornado coverage.
— These phone calls on #Joplin local radio are just heartbreaking. The missing persons’ calls are verbal versions of the flyers after 9/11.
— Shoutout to the Chevy HRH. Today I’ve driven it through hell.http://instagr.am/p/EpxYf/
— “We know there’s people out there that need help, & all we can do is hope they can get to us” —Luci Tarter, R.N., at first aid station
— Spending some time @ a first aid station at 20th & Main. They have ample supplies; but they don’t have many survivors seeking it.
— Watching a long column of St. Louis urban search and rescue trucks roll down Main St. in #Joplin.
— Just another mangled tree. #Joplin http://instagr.am/p/Epspj/
— The rain has stopped in #Joplin, but distant flashes of lightning still light up the blackened blocks of downtown.
— A caller to the news radio station in #Joplin: “This is gonna sound strange, but I’m calling to try to find my ex-wife…”
— “The only thing I couldn’t find was the marriage certificate.” “I found it. I found it.”http://nyti.ms/lPmruz #Joplin 24 May @ @TVvInce that story was written by me. Others were written by a team. I delineate.
— Here’s my story about a 21-year-old who sorted thru the wreckage of his own home & his grandma’s home: nyti.ms/lPmruz
— We’ve all seen a dozen disaster movies, and this looks like a dozen disaster movies rolled into one. #Joplin
— It’s hard to photograph the wreckage in the dark. But I now know why onlookers compare these disasters to movies…
— A commander here says that search teams are out right now, searching for bodies. So far I haven’t come across any search teams.
— Northwest of the hospital, the piles of peoples’ lives are breathtakingly high. I’m at a staging area on Rt 43 by 24th St…
— I thought I had seen the worst. I hadn’t. I think I have now. More later. #Joplin
— On #Joplin Ave. Spray paint reads: “Jarod, Jessica OK. Mike, Madonna OK.”http://instagr.am/p/EphBx/
— On the radio in #Joplin, hosts are marveling at the power of social media, esp. Facebook, in sharing info and connecting people.
— Gonna go scout for search-and-rescue teams now. If I keep reporting, maybe it’ll all seem less frightening? #Joplin
— Shoutout to McDonald’s: thanks for the free WiFi and the many water bottles today. #Joplin 24 May
— Final edition of the A1 from #Joplin that I helped w/. Tornado “sucked the wind out of me,” hospital patient told me:http://nyti.ms/kBBTVk
— Another view of the piles of rubble at night. Hard to take clear pics.http://instagr.am/p/EpWSy/
— Back by the #Joplin hospital now. Even more eerie-looking at night.http://instagr.am/p/EpMkz/
— RT @sd04192001: @brianstelter r u sleeping in your car tonight? where do you guys take shelter? // Car is shelter. May sleep Tuesday a.m.
— Just called in an insert to A1 story: the fish were still swimming in a hospital lobby fish tank today, rescuers say.
— This trauma unit is being run by volunteers & Marine Corps vets who specialized in front-line medicine. #Joplin
— Just realized my feet have been soaking wet for hours. Gonna change my socks now. Writing some overnight stories in #Joplin.
— Figured out what the MASH-like set-up is: it’s a unit to treat rescuers w/ hypothermia. I briefly helped stock shelves. Hope that’s OK.
— I’m trying to get more info. That’s what’s hard to come by here, solid info.
— Here at #Joplin hospital, workers are moving gurneys & beds from ruined building to a MASH-like set-up across the street.
— Just added a graf to NYT web story noting that there is sporadic flash flooding happening around Joplin. Rain continues.
— NYT is taking your Q’s about Joplin and this season’s storms.http://nyti.ms/jpwleT I’m trying to answer some of these tonight.
— Just talked to a couple who had to be dug out of a grocery store at Main & 20th yesterday. The g/f joked, “Nothing ever happens in #Joplin.”
— RT @AndersonCooper: It is terrible here. Overwhelming. // What he said. 23 May @ @bigratsgoboom i helped moved a few pieces of furniture for a family today, but mostly i’ve been reporting.
— John pulled out a VHS tape of the 1979 film “Jesus,” still in its box. If any film could make it thru the storm, he figured, it was “Jesus.”
— “It was a three-quarter ton. Now it looks like a half-ton,” John said. He thought the motor & the transmission might be salvageable…
— The tornado had picked up the pick-up, compacted it, carried it out of the hospital parking lot, and placed it nearly a block away…
— My most memorable scene in #Joplin today: After an hour, John Randolph, 23, found what he had been searching for: a silver Chevy pick-up…
— What was saved from the grandmother’s house: an 80-year-old rocking chair.#joplin http://instagr.am/p/Eo82D/
— Looking up from the master bedroom of a grandmother’s home on Roosevelt Ave. #joplin http://instagr.am/p/Eo8r9/
— I hope these tweets have been coherent today. p.s.: it is STILL raining in#Joplin.
— Just spent some time with a family digging out their house. Story later. I’m astounded by what I’m seeing.
— That church photo was taken before tonight’s storm. (Takes a while to transmit photos here.) I’m told it was used as a triage center.
— Just came across this church on 26th St. It’s been gutted, but the steeple is standing. http://instagr.am/p/EoxEg/
— Where could these residents have ridden out the storm? All that’s left is a garage door frame. #joplin http://instagr.am/p/EoxDQ/
— Weather is clearing now. Let’s hope that’s the last severe storm in Joplin for a long time.
— Worth noting: this severe storm has come just a few min before all the network anchors are set to start live shows from here. #Joplin
— We’re caught in a severe rainstorm now. Hail coming down. We’ve taken shelter under a half-intact porch.
— “The sheer size of the destruction is just amazing.” —Greg Buratowski, student at the U of Arkansas
— Walking down 26th St now with students who are trying to help out. They’re carrying landscaping gear. Truth be told, there’s not much th …
— 4:21 p.m. local time. Heaviest rain yet in Joplin. We are now under a severe thunderstorm warning.
— There’s something so unnatural about a natural disaster like this. It’s as if the physical world has been flipped upside down and shaken.
— These spray-painted symbols indicate that buildings and cars have been searched for survivors/bodies. http://instagr.am/p/EolYx/
— Peering into the rehab wing of the hospital in #Joplin. Gurneys, wheelchairs left at the entrance. http://instagr.am/p/EolNp/
— A firefighter just walked into this McDonalds to pick up a 50-hamburger order for her crew. #Joplin
— RT @ZuDfunck: @brianstelter thought you were going to cover Oprah? // I thought I was too. Offered to help out here. Interviewing survivors.
— “We got lucky.” That’s the phrase most often heard at the McDonalds here south of Joplin. Charging batteries here, buying water bottles.
— This street looks just like the other streets in at least a four-block radius. #joplinhttp://instagr.am/p/EoedI/
— All that’s left of a home north of the hospital. #joplinhttp://instagr.am/p/EodPj/
— Update to my earlier tweets about the search & possible rescue: no sign of life, Wx Channel prod. tells me. Searchers have moved on. #joplin
— A search and maybe-rescue. http://instagr.am/p/EocgV/
— Another view of the hospital in #Joplin. http://instagr.am/p/Eocb0/
— Locals have already complained to me that the hospital is getting undue amt of media attn. Whole swaths of other areas are flattened.
— Gonna try to find a place with more stable cell service to file.
— It’s raining so hard now that many survivors have stopped searching their piles. I’m thankful that I have a car to retreat to.
— I hear the steady drone of monitors coming, I think, from inside the blackened hospital.
— Texting is just about my only way to transmit anything right now. Rain is picking up.
— Then the Natl Guardsmen rethinks that, too. He walks up the pile and places flag atop the roots of a fallen tree. TV cameras gravitate.
— Volunteer pulls American flag from rubble; tosses it aside. Then rethinks; picks it up; hands it to Natl Guardsmen, who sticks it firmly …
— 3 camera crews surround search & rescue team here. @AlRokerand producer walk up. Al quickly rebuffs someone who seems like a random fan.
— The neighbors are convinced that someone is alive in the basement. So the rescuers are trying again. At least two dozen rescuers on site.
— Am with Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel now. We’re watching a team dig into the basement of a mangled house.
— I’m speechless.
— A view of the north side of the hospital in Joplin.http://instagr.am/p/EoTHO/
— At entrance to the rehabilitation building, I could hear respirator units still beeping faintly. Windows were shattered, paper towels we …
— On TV you can see the tall hospital building. What you can’t see are all the smaller hospital offices that are also torn to pieces.
— Cell phone service in Joplin is weak to nonexistent. AT&T has a backup truck two blocks from the hospital though.
— This is my first time coming upon a natural disaster as a reporter. I suppose my instinct should be “first, do no harm.”
— Listening to 97.9 FM in Joplin. Due to power fluctuations, hosts sometimes don’t know if they’re on the air.
— Weather is worsening as I approach Joplin. Ahead of me, a State Farm Insurance mobile unit. http://instagr.am/p/EoF8d/
— South on 71 toward Joplin now. Spurts of rain & lightning. Severe T-storm watch in effect. Sign in pick-up truck next to me: “E.M.S. VOL” 23 May