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    Posted May 25, 2011 by
    Joplin, Missouri
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Joplin tornado: One year later

    HeleneSJ and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Joplin tornado
    More from HeleneSJ

    Driving into the Joplin Tornado "War Zone"


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     HeleneSJ and her family live in Webb City, north of Joplin. HeleneSJ drove down Joplin Street, west of Main Street, yesterday because she wanted to see the destruction for herself. 'I want to go down there and see it,' HeleneSJ said. 'It's crazy.' In HeleneSJ's video, you can see the change from a somewhat damaged town to what HeleneSJ described as a war zone. You can see some standing homes and trees at the beginning of the video, HeleneSJ explained, ‘then boom everything is gone. Everything is leveled.'
    - ccostello3, CNN iReport producer

    We live just north of Joplin. I took video of the first time I drove directly into the tornado path. I wanted to show the change from very little damage to somewhat "normal" storm damage, to total devastation.


    When you see devastation and tragedy on TV, it is easy to empathize, yet you also feel this sense of it not happening to you-that it isn't close. This time, it was close to us, but it still took going down and seeing it for myself to really be able to try to comprehend the overwhelming gravity.


    Trust that TV coverage of tragedies can't even come close to doing them justice. Even this video I took of what I was seeing, doesn’t seem to properly translate what has happened here.

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