“Oasis of Calm”

American Libraries recently published an update of the public libraries damaged by tornadoes in April.  Below is a quote from the article.  Click on this URL to read the entire article: http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/news/05042011/tornados-rip-apart-several-libraries-south.

Although the Tuscaloosa Public Library escaped the storm, six staff members lost their homes. The day after the tornado, area residents swamped the branches in search of internet access, electricity for their mobile devices, and an oasis of calm. “For most,TPL was the only means of communication to family and friends after the storm. Plus, we were a place of normalcy and comfort after the pain of the storms,” Public Relations Coordinator Vince Bellofatto told AL.

Missouri’s Monster Tornado

I found this site today, WebProNews, at http://www.webpronews.com/google-maps-joplin-tornado-2011-05, which contains Google maps showing the path of the monster tornado that shredded much of Joplin, MO earlier this week, as well as videos showing the development and movement of the storm from satellite, and from a helicopter just after the storm had dissipated.  Especially, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see an unreal, but real, before-and-after of a residential neighborhood there.

Devastation in Joplin

We are all heartsick to hear about the catastrophic tornado damage that occurred in Joplin, MO last night, as well as in other areas of the Midwest.  See the New York Times story about Joplin here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/us/24tornado.html?_r=1&hp.  It gives better information than some other sources, particularly about St. John’s Regional Hospital in Joplin, which sustained a direct hit, and mentions near the end of the story that nurses who had been on the sixth floor when the tornado warning was announced, immediately began the appropriate response procedures.  Sources say that the tornado was “rain wrapped,” which made it difficult or impossible to see.

Storm Prediction Center

Tornadoes are wreaking havoc across the continental U. S. this month, even in states not usually considered to be at high risk, such as Virginia.  The jury appears to be still out on why–global warming?  Better detection technology and reporting?  Probably some of both.  Here’s an excellent site provided by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS)–their Storm Prediction Center:  http://www.spc.noaa.gov/.  On the site, severe weather warnings are available from the link above the map.  If you don’t have a weather radio to give you alerts about approaching storms, you can keep an eye on the situation nationally or in your locality via this NWS site.