Last year at this time, I came home to find an urgent message on the phone from my manager. “Can you be on a plane at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning?”
I could, and I was -- heading to Joplin, Missouri, after a catastrophic tornado ripped through the town in the late afternoon of May 22, 2011.
During my first day on the ground there, a Joplin resident asked me whether I’d ever seen anything like it. Sadly, I had to answer yes. It was the second time in just over a month that I’d covered the aftermath of a deadly tornado.