Joplin, Missouri, May 2011~
Joe Dorman here. I am not doing well at all.
Thought I could handle a big tornado outbreak like the ones that recently pummeled the South and Midwest. I couldn't have been more wrong.
If anything, I am ready to give it all up. Too much heartbreak, too much pain. I am here in Joplin, Missouri, helping with rescue efforts: over 125 people have died in the storm that hit here in Joplin. Over 500 have died across the southern and other midwestern states as storm after storm slammed into the area, some more than once.
I have seen what powerful winds can do: it will take your breath away. Nothing but rubble and a few trees standing over what used to be a thriving city. Now people's lives have been disrupted; it's going to take months, no years, for all this damage to be cleaned up and/or hauled away.
I have seen some bodies lying in amongst the rubble: men. Women. Children. Even babies and animals. It's more than enough to break your heart. The town was warned in plenty of time; yet against an EF-5 tornado, the only safe place is to be underground, such as in a basement or shelter. Even though the tornado hit during the late afternoon/early evening, the tornado caught many people off guard.
Even though I live in Texas, I have friends who live here, and right now, I don't know if they even made it through the storm. I guess no news is good news, but I am growing increasingly worried, especially since I am helping the Red Cross, emergency personnel, and rescue workers try to find survivors. I'm scared I will find a familiar face among the dead; if anything were to happen to my friends, I don't think I could ever forgive myself ...
I have seen some amazing storms, but right now, I don't want to see another storm as long as I live. I am ready to go into a totally different line of work. I am getting to be stormed out; I am sick of thunder/lghtning, or severe weather in general! It's getting to the point where all I want to do is cry, especially for those lives who were snuffed out in seconds by the killer winds.
If any of my other chaser friends want to write in the chaser logbook, as I have done in the past, then they can; as for me, I have posted my last entry. I can't take it anymore; I have had it with stormchasing!
~Joe Dorman, Fort Worth, Texas. :(