The Devil You Know
Catastrophic disasters hidden by famous disasters we all knew about
by E. G. Weiss, Jr. and J. W. H. Weiss
"When a mile-wide tornado roared through Joplin, Missouri, it took little time at all. The monster storm took less than 20 minutes to kill 158 people and injure thousands more.
Responding to Joplin was a turning point in our career as we realized shortly after arriving that there was much more to this disaster than met the eye. Our realization came from what began as a short study of the city's fascinating history which included being a major hub of lead mining in the early 1800's.
Joplin, a name that originates from the name "Job", means "afflicted one"; a prophetically appropriate name as the May 22, 2011 tornado not only leveled houses, uprooted trees and destroyed the community's hospital but it raised toxic remnants of Joplin's past from the dead.
With winds in excess of 200 MPH, the EF5 tornado dug up and blew some of the 9 million tons of toxic wastes left behind from hundreds of nearby mines and 17 smelters.
As you can imagine, for the next century, it may very well be that the tornado was the least of Joplin's problems, and this is nothing new despite it being not widely known...
A nationwide study of 229 shuttered smelters found almost 30 percent are located in areas prone to floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes which changes the game for residents in these areas as well as the responders that unwittingly step into much more than the debris they can see..."