May 24, 2011 11:53 PM by Jim Hummel

Acadiana-Native Describes Devastation in Joplin, MO

As an EF-5 tornado approached Joplin, MO Sunday, Dr. David Hargroder (left) was enjoying time off at home with his wife--when they heard the sirens.  The Crowley-native and his wife took cover in their basement and waited for the storm to pass.  Their home did not have much damage, but because he is a trauma surgeon, Dr. Hargroder knew he had to go into work, despite being on vacation.  As he approached St. John's hospital, he couldn't believe his eyes.

"It was absolute devastation and I could tell all the windows were shattered out and I could tell the top floor was missing from the hospital," said Dr. Hargroder.

Right near the hospital, Dr. Hargroder saw his office, a two-story building, reduced to one-story.  Inside, the office was filled with debris strewn about by the 200 mile-per-hour winds, but ironically, a shelf of medical charts appeared untouched.

Since Sunday, Dr. Hargroder has been working around-the-clock at makeshift clinics treating the injured, knowing he was one of the lucky ones.

"My office is totally destroyed, but that's fairly easy to replace," he said. "I have a healthy family, so I'm definitely among the fortunate ones and happy to be here to help out."


Jim Hummel


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