Demolition starts in Joplin at St. John’s hospital

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JOPLIN, Mo —  The demolition process is underway for St. John’s hospital in Joplin.

Sunday marks a new beginning. The iconic image of the Joplin tornado is in the process of being torn down. A wrecking ball struck the building a few times to symbolize the start of the demolition.

It was an emotional ceremony with music and stories from the night of May 22nd. The hospital took a direct hit from the E-F5 tornado.

Terri Edens is a nurse that worked in the emergency room that night. She says while the tornado will forever stay in her memory, it’s time to move on.

“It’s kind of now almost the eye sore that’s sticking out amongst all the new. It’s this sad damaged building, so I think it’s going to help tremendously, this whole part of town to not have this here anymore.  I’m seeing this more of a celebration than anything. It’s time to move on and focus on the new facility,” said Edens.

Demolition will continue for the next six weeks.

Just an hour after the demolition started, officials broke ground at the new sight for the Mercy Hospital Joplin. It’s right off of Interstate-44 and Main Street.
The new hospital is expected to open in 2015.