Somerset native describes moments after Joplin tornado

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

A Somerset native now living in Joplin, Missouri has quite a story to tell. The deadly twister that came through more than two weeks ago narrowly missed the church she was taking cover in.

Now she is helping to coordinate a relief effort.

Those in Joplin said it's hard to believe the destruction happened so fast.

"You could hear things hitting the roof of the church and things cracking," said Pamela Corkle.

Corkle lived most of her life in Somerset and moved to Joplin years ago. She was inside her church that Sunday night when the storm hit.

"We began to hear this distinctive roar," said Corkle.

Corkle said that's when they saw the tornado and ran for cover.

"We rushed in together in the sanctuary to get everybody downstairs," said Corkle.

The twister missed her church by a few blocks. After the storm church members ran across the street to help.

"I couldn't get over the dazed look that was in people's eyes," said Corkle, "That's what just really ripped my heart."

In Joplin, as far as the eye can see, all you can see is damage from the tornado - that cut a six mile path of destruction through the city.

Corkle's church now serves as a relief center.

They've helped more than 100 families who lost it all, and she says they will continue to do that work until everything is back to normal.

"Our community needs help for several years," said Corkle.

A time that will only come as the nation helps to build back what was blown away in an instant.

Corkle said their church is hoping to organize a toy drive for the Christmas season - to provide gifts for children who lost everything.

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