It was the worst summer of my life.
On May 22, 2011, our lives came to a screeching halt. It was a Sunday evening, and I was at a party with my church youth group. It was a cloudy evening, and rain was in the forecast. We had heard about a tornado watch, but we were used to those. Growing up in Joplin, Missouri means you get used to the sound of tornado sirens. By the time I was in high school, I’d seen multiple tornados with my own eyes. They are terrifyingly beautiful.
So, when the warnings came on and the sirens went off that Sunday evening, I didn’t think much of it. The storm blew over and I left the party to go meet up with the rest of my family. You can imagine my shock as I drove back into town and found that my cozy little hometown had turned into a war zone.
At 5:41pm, a mile-wide EF5 tornado tore through my hometown, leaving a path of carnage in its wake that would change our lives forever. It was the worst summer of my life.