This weekend marks two major severe weather anniversaries: May 22 is the fifth anniversary of the Joplin, MO EF5 tornado, and May 20 is the third anniversary of the Moore, OK EF5 tornado. To mark both of these anniversaries, The Weather Channel presents a weekend of reflection and focus on these communities ability to be resilient and rebuild after catastrophic weather events.
Mike Bettes live from Joplin, MO
The Joplin tornado on May 22, 2011 is the single costliest tornado on record in the U.S. ($2.8 billion in damage) and the deadliest tornado since 1947. More than 7,000 homes and 500+ businesses were completely destroyed.
Mike Bettes and The Weather Channel Tornado Hunt crew tracked the tornado from Kansas into Joplin, and arrived at the hardest-hit areas before most of the first responders did. Within minutes, Mike Bettes was broadcasting the first images (no other network or local station was on the air at the time) of Joplin's devastation to the rest of the world. His emotional pleas for help in the immediate aftermath is often credited for the rapid response to the disaster. In fact, the National Weather Service office in Springfield, MO later stated they didn't know the extent of what happened in Joplin until they saw Mike Bettes live on The Weather Channel.
Mike returns to Joplin for the fifth anniversary of the deadly tornado to share the community's resilience and how they continue to rebuild and recover. He will be live from Joplin the mornings of Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22.
“Oklahoma: Tornado Target”
Almost three years ago, Moore, OK, was in the direct path of an EF5 tornado that killed 20 people. With the upcoming anniversary of that devastating day, The Weather Channel will air a one-hour special that takes an in-depth look at the state of Oklahoma and the impacts tornadoes have had on the people and the community.
Hosted by Dave Malkoff, Oklahoma: Tornado Target will feature interviews with survivors, the mayor of Moore, Glenn Lewis, and other notable citizens, take a look back at major tornadoes in Oklahoma's history and provide helpful safety & preparedness information for the future of the state. Oklahoma: Tornado Target premieres Sunday, May 22 at 9 p.m. ET.
This Sunday’s episode of Weather Geeks, “After the Storm,” focuses on what towns do after a devastating tornado strike. Host Dr. Marshall Shepherd talks to Gary Brandy, retired chief meteorologist KSN-TV Joplin and Angela Denton, lifelong resident of Pilger, NE, community leader and business owner.
According to Gary The Weather Channel's coverage that day and the days to follow was critical to letting the world know what they were going through which in their minds was key to getting the help that they needed. Weather Geeks “After the Storm” airs Sunday, May 22 at 12 p.m. ET.