Earlier on the blog today, we shared how the community of Joplin has been preparing for school’s to reopen on time this Wednesday – a huge victory for the town and an impressive feat given how badly their schools were damaged by the tornado. As Joplin students get ready to go back to school on Wednesday, we wanted to share the following story in USAToday:
Quinton Anderson's back-to-school routine won't be all that routine. Critically injured in the May 22 tornado that killed 160 people, including his parents, Quinton Anderson, will be walking into his senior year at Joplin High School on his own power.
Carefully on Wednesday, the slender 17-year-old will apply dressing to a left leg that was gouged and stripped of muscle when one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history tore through his home and his life in May. Anderson's father and mother were killed.
For three days, their son was missing and presumed a victim, too. Anderson also suffered a broken back, a fractured skull, a shattered eye socket and scrapes so frightful that he needed treatment in a burn unit. Almost three months later, the leg, which required skin grafts, is virtually all that's left to mend.
"I was bound and determined to heal myself, I guess as quick as my body would heal," Anderson says. "I never once thought that I wouldn't be able to go back to school."
Others in this stricken city proclaim it little short of a miracle — that in two days the senior will walk without help through the doors of a makeshift Joplin High School, that those doors are swinging open at all, that school is restarting as scheduled only 87 days after 200 mph winds carved a path of unthinkable destruction through the middle of town. The storm killed 160 people and injured more than 900.
Check out the entire article at USAToday.com.
At FEMA, we're proud to be just one of many partners in the community’s effort to make this day possible. We have provided temporary classrooms and other facilities to several school campuses throughout the town. We have also provided temporary housing units to all families with school age children – ensuring that children can return to a sense of normalcy. We remain committed to providing assistance to residents of the Joplin community during the road to recovery, every step of the way.