After the May 22 tornado devastated Joplin, a two-day workshop titled “Rebuild Joplin Strong” was organized for July 8-9 at Missouri Southern State University. Its purpose: to bring together tornado survivors; local, state and national leaders; representatives from FEMA, the Small Business Administration, power companies, developers and contractors; and David South for Monolithic Domes. The group highlighted plans and methods for rebuilding Joplin so that its disaster-resistant and green.
David’s presentation focused on the innate ability of Monolithic Domes to do just that. Needless to say, the information sparked much interest from community administrators as well as local residents.
To date, 8000 homeowners have filed insurance claims for destroyed property and another 5000 to 8000 uninsured also lost their homes.
David and Judy, his wife, were saddened by what they saw and heard during their visit to Joplin.
They met a woman who is a surgeon and wife of a legislator. She and her husband were trapped inside a diner when the tornado hit. Once they were able to get out, she started walking (their cars were demolished) toward Joplin’s large hospital where she is on staff. A man driving a pick-up truck that had lost its windows and mirrors to the storm stopped to give her a ride. But on the way, they collided with a police car. They explained their situation to the officer who escorted them and arrived only to find the hospital destroyed. She operated on the injured who had been laid on folding tables.
David talked with Chris Cotten, Joplin’s Parks Director. Chris told David he had to round up people to go to the hospital and mop up blood to prevent more slipping and injuries. Chris also told David that all the trees worth $800,000 in their 125 year old park were lost except two and even those two had to be cut down due to damage.
Chris and David talked about rebuilding. David showed him a rendering of the Monolithic Dome facility in Bangor. Chris wants that exact dome for Joplin’s new sports arena.
According to information David gathered, 500 Joplin businesses were destroyed and only 150 of them have reopened. Two hospitals were hit, the largest one completely destroyed. Ten schools were damaged, six of which were a total loss.
David assured everyone he talked with that Monolithic is ready and very able to assist with planning and reconstruction.