Jun 21, 2011 • By

Stories from Joplin

When an EF5 tornado began to roar into Joplin, Missouri on Sunday, May 22, General Mills employees were scattered around the city.

Many were taking cover in their homes, heeding the weather warnings and the threatening sky.

But some were still on their way home, caught out on the streets of the city. Perhaps returning from the Joplin High School graduation ceremony, a son’s baseball tournament or a quick trip to a gas station.

Others were caught in the city’s Walmart or other businesses, soon to be right in the path of the twister.

And more than 30 of our employees were inside our Joplin plant, in the middle of their shift, taking cover in their designated storm shelter.

I had a chance to visit Joplin recently to talk with several of our employees about their experiences.

This video offers a brief collection of some of their thoughts on what they heard and saw during and after the tornado.

Their words and the images of what’s left of their homes represent a small portion of the heartache felt across Joplin, which at last count lost 155 lives and more than 8,000 homes and businesses. Seeing the damage firsthand, I could not believe my eyes. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like to be in the middle of that tornado or walking the streets of the city after it moved on.

People all across Joplin, who live and work there. could use your help. Cleanup and reconstruction of homes and businesses will take years.

Please consider making a donation via RebuildJoplin.org.

Editor’s note: This post is the first in a series of personal stories of several of our employees in Joplin, Mo. who were affected by the May 22, 2011 tornado:

“Two of the many heroes in Joplin”

“Thankful to be alive”

“Relief in the midst of tragedy”

“Reliving a tornado’s terror”