Missouri is known for having unpredictable and capricious weather patterns. Even with state of the art radars and meteorological equipment, weather forecasters still aren’t an even match for the power of Mother Nature in the Midwest. In fact, Kansas has become stereotyped as one of the most tornado prone areas in the country, thanks to The Wizard of Oz. And I think we’ve all experienced our own fair share of nasty weather. But all too often we go about our day to day lives without a second thought of the destructive power of Missouri weather that caused massive damage in years past. The following is a brief reminder of the worst storms ever to hit Missouri within the last hundred years.
The Great Flood of 1993
Between April and October of 1993, the Mississippi River and Missouri River (as well as downstream channels) flooded on a massive scale. Believe it or not, the flood was one of the most damaging flood in all of recorded United States history, and damages were estimated to be over $15 billion dollars (I shudder to think what that figure would be these days with inflation). Thousands upon thousands of homes were destroyed, damaged, or in dire need of repair.
A massive area roughly 30,000 square miles was flooded with water, and there hadn’t been a flood of this proportion since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 (though damages at that time were considerably less). When measured in terms of areas affected, duration of the flooding, people displaced, property damage, crop damage, and record high river levels, the 1993 flood is thought to have been worse.
The Joplin Tornado of 2011
Even though we live in Tornado Alley, I am fortunate enough to never have experienced a tornado firsthand. When we’re lucky, a tornado will simply rip through a deserted area, such as wilderness or farmland. Unfortunately, the town of Joplin in southwest Missouri wasn’t so lucky, and on May 22 of 2011, they experienced one of Missouri’s greatest catastrophes.
It was an EF5 rated tornado, and at the height of its power, it reached a width of almost 1 mile. And sadly enough, the tornado didn’t simply clip the town; instead, it plowed straight through the heart of Joplin. Not only did the tornado cause 158 fatalities, but it also injured approximately 1,150 other people. The homes that survived the incident needed heavy repairs, and many families were left without homes. Damages were estimated to be 2.8 billion.
Hailstorm of 2001
Though we all know hailstorms are incredibly dangerous and cause property damage, we don’t often think of them in the same class of natural disasters as floods and tornadoes. But on April 10 of 2001, Missouri experienced on of its costliest hailstorms in history. The storm hit the entire I-70 strip of the state, as well as southwest Illinois. There were many reports of softball sized hail, and total damages were estimated to be about $2 billion.
Storms are just an inherent part of life in Missouri, but they don’t have to ruin your home. If you need emergency remediation and restoration services, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. We can even help with water removal and water damage restoration around the clock.