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Joplin, MO - St. Mary's Cross - Tornado survivor???

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Hi to everyone!

I was asked by one of our managers (who used to attend St. Mary's) to
inspect the Cross at St. Mary's church.  The cross has some fame,
being as it was the only part of the church that survived the May 22
tornado.

The demolition contractor had talked to the Father (Priest?) of the
parish, telling him that he thought that the buckling had gotten worse
after a recent thunderstorm.

The site is clear of debris and is easily accessed (now) on foot.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YJGY20m55fNUIAg-8hy797BcJNsRSgwc9UkapFcZlps?feat=directlink

The cross was at one time in a fountain, so there was extensive
corrosion on all four sides right above the slab.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jnMLaa1sdEhInWX9zCZNHbBcJNsRSgwc9UkapFcZlps?feat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FApplSnnegAYv8sennngLrBcJNsRSgwc9UkapFcZlps?feat=directlink

Based on anecdotal evidence, the base of the cross is 12 feet below
the slab (there was a basement behind the cross).

It doesn't appear to me that the building which was around the cross
was actually connected to the cross, at the very least just the
flashing.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FApplSnnegAYv8sennngLrBcJNsRSgwc9UkapFcZlps?feat=directlink

It appeared to me that the buckling and tearing took place due to the
thinned walls (from the corrosion) and that even without the storm,
the cross was going to require corrective action due to the corrosion.

I'm recommending that the slab be removed around the base of the cross
in order to ascertain the extents of the corrosion.  I'm also
recommending that the cross be braced before the slab removal.

Comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Jones

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