Rewiring the System

Whose Childhood?

‘Family’ was what I could pick up hanging around and being with a group of some other blood related people in an activity. Going out for a family restaurant dinner or a family movie or Holiday. Thanksgiving was always the most chronically sad weekend.

The Ham Radio is such an example of assumed connectedness. The tenderness and trauma of imagining the man who sat at the console was my father or uncle tears at my heart. Today I feel the lonely lack almost as intensely as back in my twenties.  I remember the Radio Room more than the rest of the house. I have a friend who I met all those years ago at the end of my teens. She is intensely intelligent and fortunate. Born in a family that had one roof over their collective heads was an unimaginable luxury to me.  Even taking the train or driving into their neighborhood remained behind a scrimshaw sheet theatrical illusion.  I would look and listen to voices and events from around the globe in that room. I was in awe of the Father and his strong deep voice as he talked either to me and his family or to the scattered Ham communicators. Twice the call was for help for support during an accident. Once it was a weather related bloody problem.  I drank up every syllable so that all the years since I can still hear in my brain, the tone, timber, and accent of the disconnected voices.

I have been thinking about all the characters I have been playing over the years. I have fooled myself long enough. I am really trying to be ready to accept responsibility for my own feelings and then just let go of control.

A friend came over to help me with a computer problem and we got to talking about interests. Somehow he started talking about his grandfathers Ham call letters and all the emotions came spilling over and out. The world did not end this weekend for me but in other parts of the world nothing will ever be the same.

The Huge Flood Of Emotions is Overwhelming in the face of  Joplin Tornado, here reprinted from Wikipedia. I hope tomorrow to have a on the ground video.

2011 Joplin Tornado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2011 Joplin tornado
Storm over Joplin minutes before the tornado formed

Storm over Joplin minutes before the tornado formed

Date: May 22, 2011
Time: 5:41 – 5:50 p.m. CDT (2241 – 2250 UTC)
Rating: EF5 tornado
Damages: $1–3 billion (insured estimate only)
Casualties: 142 fatalities
Area affected: Joplin, Missouri (part of a larger outbreak)

The 2011 Joplin tornado was amultiple-vortex tornado rated as an EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale which struck Joplin, MissouriUSA at about or shortly before 5:41 p.m. CDT (2241 UTC) on May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak and reached a maximum 0.75 miles (1.21 km) wide during its path through the city.[1] It rapidly intensified and tracked eastward across the city, and then continued eastward acrossInterstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County. This was the third significant tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971.[2][3] The May 2011 tornado was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947 and the eighth-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history, killing 142 people.[4] [5]

On May 27, it was announced that a receipt from Joplin was found roughly 525 mi (845 km) miles away in Royal Center, Indiana, the longest distance debris from a tornado has ever traveled on record. This was more than twice the previous record of 210 mi (340 km) during the 1915 Great Bend, Kansas tornado.[6]


A preliminary survey of the tornado damage by the National Weather Service office inSpringfield, Missouri, began on May 23. The initial survey confirmed a violent tornado rated as a high-end EF4 with winds up to 198 miles per hour (319 km/h), tracking at least 7 miles (11 km) in length, and 0.75 miles (1.21 km) wide across the city. Subsequent damage surveys, however, found evidence of more intense damage, and so the tornado was upgraded to an EF5 with estimated winds of 225 to 250 mph (362 to 402 km/h).[7]

The tornado initially touched down just east of the Kansas state boundary near the end of 32nd Street between 5:35 and 5:41 p.m. CDT (2235 and 2241 UTC) and tracked just north of due east. Surveys remain incomplete there so it is possible it may have started in Kansas and crossed the state line into Missouri.[8]

Damage to St. John’s hospital

Damage became very widespread and catastrophic as it entered residential subdivisions in southwest Joplin. In addition,St. John’s Regional Medical Center in the same area was heavily damaged with many windows and the exterior walls damaged and the upper floors destroyed. Several fatalities were reported there. Virtually every house in that area near McClelland Boulevard and 26th Street was flattened, and some were blown away in the area as well. Trees sustained severe debarking, a nursing home and a church school in southwest Joplin were also flattened and several other schools were heavily damaged. Damage in this area was rated as a low-end EF4.[8]

Destroyed area in tornado path.

As the tornado tracked eastward, it intensified even more as it crossed Main Street between 20th and 26th Streets. Virtually every business along that stretch was heavily damaged or destroyed and several institutional buildings were destroyed. It tracked just south of downtown, narrowly missing it. More houses were flattened or blown away and trees continued to be debarked. Two large apartment buildings were destroyed, as well asFranklin Technology Center and Joplin High School. Fortunately, no one was in the high school at the time. It approached Range Line Road, the main commercial strip in the eastern part of Joplin, near 20th Street. Damage in this area was rated as a high-end EF4.[8]

The tornado peaked in intensity as it crossed Range Line Road. In that corridor between about 13th and 32nd Streets, the damage continued to be very intense and the tornado was at its widest at this point, being nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. Some of the many destroyed buildings include a Cummins warehouse, Walmart Supercenter #59, a Home Depot store, and numerous restaurants, all of which were flattened. Heavy objects, including concrete bumpers and large trucks, were tossed a significant distance, as far as 1/8 mile (200 m) away from the parking lots along Range Line. Numerous other commercial and industrial buildings, as well as more houses, were destroyed with some flattened or blown away as the tornado tracked through southeast Joplin. Many fatalities occurred in this area. Damage in this area was rated as an EF5).[7][8]

It then continued on an east to east-southeast trajectory towards Interstate 44 where it weakened; nonetheless, vehicles were flipped and mangled near the U.S. Route 71 (Exit 11) interchange. Surveys remain incomplete there so the end point is uncertain as it likely continued into rural areas of southeastern Jasper County and northeastern Newton County, although an EF2 tornado touched down near Wentworth, about 25 miles (40 km) east-southeast of Joplin.[8]

Many people were reported to have been trapped in destroyed houses. Seventeen people were rescued from the rubble the day after the tornado struck.[9]

According to the local branch of the American Red Cross, about 25% of Joplin was destroyed, but the town’s emergency manager stated that the number was between 10% and 20%, with roughly 2,000 buildings destroyed.[10][11] According to the National Weather Service, emergency managers reported damage to 75% of Joplin.[12] Communications were lost in the community and power was knocked out to many areas.[13][14]

The catastrophe and risk modeling firm Eqecat, Inc. has estimated the damage at one billion to three billion USD, but noted that the true damage is not yet known, since the firm does not have access to data on uninsured losses.[15]


Damage in Joplin one day after the tornado.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency has confirmed that 142 people were killed and more than 990 were injured in Joplin.[16] The number of dead may rise, as more than 100 people remain missing. However, due to the horrific injuries suffered by some victims, it is possible that some different sets of remains are from a single person.[4] The figure of 142 deaths would make this the deadliest U.S. tornado since that of April 9, 1947 in Woodward, Oklahoma and surrounding locations, and the eighth deadliest tornado in U.S. history.[17] This would also make it the first single tornado since the June 8, 1953 tornado in Flint, Michigan, to have 100 or more associated fatalities.[18]


Immediately following the disaster, emergency responders were deployed within and to the city to undertake search and rescue efforts. Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency for the Joplin area shortly after the tornado hit, and ordered Missouri National Guard troops to the city.[13][19]

By May 23, Missouri Task Force One (consisting of 85 personnel, four dogs, and heavy equipment) arrived and began searching for missing persons. Five heavy rescue teams were also sent to the city a day later. Within two days, numerous agencies arrivied to assist residents in the recovery process. The National Guard deployed 191 personnel and placed 2,000 more on standby to be deployed. The Missouri State Highway Patrol provided 110 troopers, with 70 more en route.[as of?] On May 24, five ambulance strike teams, a total of 25 ambulances, were to be deployed in the area.[as of?][16]

With communications down, temporary cell towers had to be constructed. By May 24, three towers owned by AT&T and Sprint had been restored.[16]

East of Joplin, a Risk Management Plan facility released 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1,400 to 2,300 kg) of anhydrous ammonia; however, this was contained within two days.[16]

The United States Congress debated whether to supply a special-purpose, $1 billion federal aid package for Joplin, ensuring that existing budget funds for FEMA and other federal agencies involved in disaster relief would not be exhausted during the fiscal year.Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stated that an aid package would only be permissible if supported by budget cuts elsewhere. Congressional Republicans correspondingly proposed a $1.5 billion cut to an existing loan program intended to promote fuel-efficient vehicles.


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