92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 1:45 PM
Performance of Concrete Masonry Buildings in the Joplin Tornado
Room 252/253 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Timothy P. Marshall, Haag Engineering Co., Irving, TX
Manuscript (2.4 MB)

A number of injuries and fatalities occurred at several public venues in 2011 but the casualties could have been much higher had it not been for luck. A tornado struck Lambert Airfield in St. Louis on April 22. Videos from this event showed that officials and the public were virtually unaware of the impending danger until moments before the tornado struck. Fortunately, the tornado weakened prior to striking the airport. A violent tornado destroyed much of the Joplin High School on May 22 including the auditorium which accommodated 2,000 people. However, graduation ceremonies had been moved to the local college that evening as officials expected twice that capacity. The college was outside the damage path. At least three concert stages collapsed during thunderstorms. Several stadiums and racetracks had near misses. This presentation will summarize some of the disasters at public venues that occurred in 2011 and will show that in many instances, there was a lack of safe shelter even if people could have been evacuated in time.

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