JOPLIN, Mo. (KMOX) — Almost four months after a monster tornado levelled much of Joplin Missouri – killing dozens in the process – National Weather Service officials will release a final report on the disaster during a midday teleconference.
Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS office in Weldon Spring, tells KMOX News that an in-depth analysis of what happened before, during and after the May 22nd storm can tell them a lot of things.
“How did people respond? Did they get warning messages? Did they understand them?,” Kramper explains. “How did emergency management respond? Did they understand everything that was going on? So we’re trying to create the big picture here and then find out, of course, what worked, what didn’t work, and what can we do better?”
The Joplin twister was a massive EF-5 storm that ended up killing nearly 160 people and leaving hundreds more displaced.
Are some storms just so ferocious and fast-moving that little can be done to prepare for them ahead of time?
“Well, that’s one of the issues that has to be addressed I think,” Kramper responded when KMOX News posed that question. “Where were a lot of the people killed and what were the circumstances? Is there anything they could have done differently?”
And, he says, there are factors that are outside of weather officials’ capacity to control.
“For example in the southeast U.S. you have a lot of homes that do not have basements. There’s simply in many cases not much people can do.”
But he hopes the report due out today will underscore those things that weather experts and others can do to limit the amount of damage and loss of life from future weather disasters.
Weather officials are due to release that information during a midday conference call with reporters.
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