Joplin tornado victims able to recover lost photos


JOPLIN, Mo. — Lost items in storage finally being returned nearly a decade after an EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin.

But an organization is now reuniting families with lost memories.

I found that one that was posted on Facebook and I saw it the other day.

Velta Elmore

After more than nine years.. Saturday Velta Elmore was reunited with a long lost photo of her granddaughter. She said “Its nice to come down here and look and to see and everybody would want their own photos you know that they missed.”

National disaster photo rescue began right after the Joplin Tornado in 2011.
Since then the organization has collected more than 35,000 photos and documents.

Photographs go to the nature of who we are as people. They help us to remember our life in the past they connect us to our future and there’s emotions behind those photographs because they’re memories. They’re special times they’re difficult times but they are part of our life.

Thad Beeler, Executive Director National Disaster Photo Rescue

The photos are at the Joplin History and Mineral Museum, but can only be viewed on certain days.

So far they have reunited more than 900 families with photos.

This is an experience as a volunteer that will stay with you for the rest of your life because you’re making a difference in a person’s life you’re making a difference in a families life, you have brought it back to life for them to make the home that they lost not just a house, but a home again.

Thad Beeler, Executive Director National Disaster Photo Rescue

National Disaster Photo Rescue will have more reunifications leading up to the Tenth Anniversary of the tornado.

To find out if you have lost photos go here .

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