Demolition continues at Joplin hospital damaged in tornado - KOAM TV 7

Demolition continues at Joplin hospital damaged in tornado


Final demolition continues at Saint John's Hospital in Joplin, a building that has memories for tens of thousands.

It has seen generations of births, deaths and lives saved.

The nine stories of concrete and steel became an iconic image of Joplin's strength and loss in the wake of the May 22, 2011 tornado.

Bit by bit it is being brought to the ground by a wrecking ball.  The building even fought back, with the wrecking ball getting stuck at one point today.

"Even that it still stood and that we lost windows, but it still was standing - I mean of all the areas around, there were all these things that were down and it was still standing," says Mercy nurse Margie Tyree, whose career began at the hospital in 1982.

Tyree says the skeleton of the hospital still holds many memories.

"Memories of me growing up with the doctors, and learning what to do, and families that I've taken care of and now I'm taking care of their kids' kids," says Tyree.  "It's just hard to think that this is a part of me that's going down, because it's where I started my career."

At about 3 p.m. Thursday some of the hospital's floors collapsed, one step closer to starting new chapter from the ground up.

"I just hope that for them, they have as many good memories and good future of a place to be and things they can think about when they go by as I have," says Tyree.

We were told the building would go down today, but workers say the building is stronger than they thought.  Now construction workers say it will be the middle of August before the building is completely gone.

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