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Tornado Destroys Jo-Ann’s Store in Joplin, MO

The Joplin, MO store of Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts was among the scores of businesses destroyed in the F5 tornado that swept through the heart of the city’s business district on Sunday evening, decimating the Joplin and killing at least 125 people.

The Jo-Ann’s store, located in a strip mall on Rangeline Road, was open for business at the time of tornado, and there were both staff and customers inside the store according to a Jo-Ann Stores spokesperson. There were no fatalities at the store, but the store itself was described by the company as destroyed.

As heavily damaged as this shopping center was, the area around it is largely completely leveled. Piles of debris mark the former locations of restaurants and shops lining the business strip. The video below can help give some grasp of the massive scale of the destruction in that area of Joplin. The Jo-Ann’s is the large store in the middle of the strip mall that appears across the street near the end of the video.

Jo-Ann Stores says that it is assisting both its employees and the community at large as they attempt to recover from this devastating event. Some Jo-Ann’s employees did unfortunately lose their homes in the disaster.

Other area crafts stores largely escaped damage in the tornado on Sunday. Hobby Lobby’s Joplin store – which is located near the devastated Walmart and Home Depot seen frequently in news reports – sustained relatively minor damage in the storm according to Facebook postings. The store’s windows were blown out and since the parking lot is being used as a staging area by emergency personnel, they will have to wait till the area is more secure to get approval from authorities to re-open the store.

Michael’s Stores’ location in Joplin was fortunate to be located approximately a quarter-mile outside of the tornado’s path. The store sustained no damage and there were no injuries.

Please join Scrapbook Update in donating to the Red Cross to provide support to the victims of the tornadoes and floods that have devastated the midwestern United States this spring.

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17 Responses to Tornado Destroys Jo-Ann’s Store in Joplin, MO

  1. Angela Shetzer May 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Joplin is my hometown – I actually shopped in that Jo-Anns when I was there in January visiting my family – The devastation is unbelievable – My thoughts are with my friends and family there!

  2. Nancy Grant May 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    My thoughts are with everyone of Joplin and the surrounding areas.

  3. Meg May 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Living in Missouri and having friends who have family/friends in the Joplin area and also friends who are now working in Joplin in the relief efforts I just want to say, the pictures you see on tv are nothing compared to how it really looks. If you have the means to help financially please do, it will take this community a long time to begin to recover. The hospital will most likely be a total loss. Medical records were found almost 75 miles away, these people no longer have those as the computers were destroyed. So many people are still missing. It is a reminder that something larger than all of us is really in charge.

  4. Lyneen May 27, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    It is all so sad, unbelievable. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the area.

  5. Lynn Mercurio May 27, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    This breaks my heart. I have been to this very store several times, as my daughter used to live in Joplin. It’s still a town I stay in when I travel to southeast Kansas to visit family. It will take a very long time for this city to rebuild, but with the thousands of volunteers pouring in each day, the people of Joplin have to feel the love and compassion we all have for them.

    I agree with Meg. What we see on the internet can’t compare to the horror happening each day as the recovery efforts continue. My daughter-in-law is an EMT and I finally had to tell her to stop telling me the stories…it was just too emotionally heart wrenching. If you are a prayerful person, please life these people and the workers up in your prayers. They SO need them.

  6. Betsy Burnett May 27, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Joplin and other communities that have been effected by the tornados in the area.

  7. Jennifer Earley May 27, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I haven’t watched much about the devastation in Joplin or the surrounding areas. It’s jsut awful and my prayers will continue. How do we donate money to the Red Cross? I tried the Salvation Army but got the run around. If you have good information as to where I can donate, please email me, blossom93 at yahoo dot com.

    • Nancy Nally May 27, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      If you click on the Red Cross banner graphic above these comments it will take you to a page where you can donate to storm relief. Thanks!

  8. Terri Harmon May 27, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Thank you Nancy for including the link to the Red Cross. My prayers go out to all those who have felt the devastation of the recent tornadoes and floods.

  9. Donna C May 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    My God. This is unbelievable to see. I can’t imagine what it looks like in person. My heart goes out to the people of Joplin. I know the ARC always helps, but I wonder what other efforts we might contribute to? I’d like to perhaps send items they most need, or ? I don’t know, but we need to take care of our fellow Americans as well as our friends in other countries. I hope as a people, we step up for Joplin. I will pray for them.

  10. Wanda E. May 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    This is just awful. My daughter and I live in NW Arkansas and often make the hour trip to Joplin to shop at JoAnn’s and the local antique stores there. I’m very familiar with this area. This is unbelievably sad. My prayers are with all of those in Joplin. My heart goes out to everyone there.

  11. Kelly L May 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I live in NW Arkansas and I have a brother who lives in one of the suburbs of Joplin- this is just so sad
    and absolutely terrifying.. Praying for all the families in the area.

  12. Megan May 28, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    I live 60 miles from Joplin and have been following any and all news extensively as I cannot make it there yet. Thank you for your article. I would like to mention, though, that it is Rangeline and not Ridgeline road. Thank you again for taking the time to bring to light this news.

    • Nancy Nally May 28, 2011 at 8:54 am #

      Dope! Thank you for the copyediting Megan. I spent all day searching YouTube and Flickr for Rangeline and then for some inexplicable reason typed Ridgeline in my article. Two characters different – totally different word. Too little sleep, too much caffeine I guess! Thanks for the correction.

  13. Vicki Conquest June 5, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Pictures just doesn’t do it justice in showing the devastation. We live in Springfield, about 70 miles away but have customers, friends and family in Joplin. You wouldn’t believe the amount of volunteer support, it is amazing. We’re sponsoring a “Craft It Forward for Joplin” event July 1 & 2 to help raise money for the relief efforts, with monies going to Convoy of Hope. One activity we have planned is making cards for the families who were affected as well as cards for the volunteers who are putting in tons of time to help. We’re also asking each attendee to bing one item needed as a donation (wet wipes, cleaning materials, personal care products, etc.) and we’ll be looping a slideshow/video with images taken there. We are also having some folks who were affected as well as some who volunteered to talk to the crop/craft group throughout the event, along with a silent auction. If anyone would like to make a donation of an item to auction, you can reach me at vconquest@conquestkeepsakes.com. Joplin is going to need help for a long time as the rebuilding starts. Keep praying!

  14. Lawana Binns November 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I was searching for information regarding the reopening of JoAnn’s Fabrics in Joplin, when I ran across this page. On May 22nd, I was in JoAnn’s at the time the tornado struck. My daughter and I were shopping for fabric for her upcoming wedding. We did not hear any sirens, but the grandmother of the young lady cutting our fabric had called to alert her that a tornado was on the ground on the west side of Joplin. We knew that we might be in the direct path of it. Before we could pay for our selection, the storm became imminent and we were instructed to sit in a hallway near the warehouse area of the store. I inquired about an enclosed area nearby and the manager hurried in and unlocked a small inner office into which we were ushered. Moments later the we lost electrical service and the only light available was provided by the manager’s cell phone. His name was Daniel, as I recall. Within minutes, we heard a high-pitched sound like the whirr of a jet engine and the sound of metal being stripped from the building. The tornado was upon us. Office desks and tables provided our only shelter. My daughter and I dove under an old, metal army-style desk. Immediately, we knew that not only the roof of the store, but also that inner office was gone. Rain and hail were falling on us as the incredible wind blew around us. Our ears were popping like crazy as the wind both pulled and pushed on our bodies! I have lived in Oklahoma and Kansas my entire life and have not ever seen a tornado, let alone been in one. Yet, I knew that as long as it was taking to pass over us, this one was huge. As I expected, we finally were in the eye and soon the back half was on us. I only prayed that what remained of the structure that surrounded us was strong enough to withstand another round.
    After what I estimate to be about 3-4 minutes, the tornado was finally past us. We could not get out from under the desks because of all of the debris. Daniel climbed out and returned after a few minutes with some help from outside. As we climbed over the walls that had only minutes before been part of the inner office, we looked toward Rangeline Road. We were horrified to see the way the landscape had been scrubbed clean. No businesses, no homes, no trees. We could see forever. Only feet away from where we took refuge, a large truck had landed upside down. The store was demolished, yet along the north wall, the delicate silks and tulles stood seemingly undisturbed.
    My daughter, Summer and I would like to express our gratitude to Daniel for his clear thinking in a time of great emergency. Had we remained in that hallway, we would not have had any protection from the broken glass and we may well have been crushed by the north wall of the office that collapsed into that same hallway. Daniel should certainly be commended for his actions. I would also like to thank that Grandmother that called to alert the store. Thank you so much!! I thank you both and I thank God for His protection. By the way, we got the fabric we needed at JoAnn’s in Rogers, Arkansas and my daughter was a beautiful bride in August!

  15. Heather Gray August 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    JoAnns Reopened today at the Northpark Mall. :)

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