Condition Gray. It sounds harmless enough, but on a Sunday evening in May, 2011 it came to mean so much more to the citizens of Joplin, Missouri. Condition Gray is the alert for severe weather used by St. John's Regional Medical Center which was destroyed along with homes, businesses and lives in one of the deadliest tornadoes in US history.
On May 22nd, 2011, a 3/4 mile wide EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin with winds estimated at over 200 mph and travelled a distance of 13 miles. An estimated 4,000 homes were destroyed and 500 businesses were affected by the storm.
161 lives were lost on that Sunday evening. We will never forget them. We will never forget May 22nd.