PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A representative of the local Red Cross chapter is returning from tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri, today. And the devastation has even amazed those for whom disasters are routine.
As a communications specialist with the Philadelphia-area Red Cross, Dave Schrader (pictured) has seen disaster. But he describes the devastation in Joplin as “unbelievable.”
“What struck me the most is the vastness of it,” Schrader says. “Nothing was spared.”
Imagine Route 611 from Hatboro to Jenkintown. Then imagine everything along that stretch of road for a half-mile in each direction obliterated. That’s the way Schrader describes the damage from the tornado.
He says this one differed from the twisters that hit North Carolina, “You would have basically one house standing, and the house next to it or across the street was destroyed because the tornadoes just sort of pop up, and were very random. That’s not the case here. It was just… if it was in the path, it got destroyed.”
Schrader spent a week in Joplin, along with a mental health counselor and a caseworker from the local Red Cross.
He says the Joplin survivors have been resilient, “The people have been very outpouring to each other – they’re very accepting of help from the outside, which they’ve gotten a lot of. They’re chipping in everywhere they can. It’s been quite remarkable.”
He says people here who want to help, should donate money. You can do that through RedCrossPhilly.org, by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, or by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.
Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060