Receipt From Joplin Tire Store Apparently Traveled 525 Miles to Indiana After EF-5 Tornado

Posted on May 27, 2011

A receipt from Joplin Tire in Joplin, Mo. was found 525 miles away by a couple on their front porch in Royal Center, Indiana. The receipt was dated May 13 and was found folded into one-quarter of its original size. The receipt appears to be debris from the Joplin tornado, which was recently rated an EF-5. This would be the longest recorded journey of debris from a tornado.

Tia Fritz, the woman who found the receipt, contacted Ernest Agee, a Purdue University professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and tornado expert. Agee now has the receipt in his possession. He says the distance the receipt traveled is twice as far as the previous record. He also says the "distance paper travels is directly proportional to the intensity of the tornado."

Agee says, "This paper traveled more than twice as far as the longest distance recorded for debris from a storm. The previous record was a cancelled check that traveled 210 miles after the 1915 tornado in Great Bend, Kansas. The distance paper travels is directly proportional to the intensity of the tornado. This paper's journey is a testament to the strength of the EF5 tornado that struck Joplin and what that city went through."

Agee estimates that in order to reach Indiana, the receipt would have to have been sucked into the tornado and then carried by the jet stream for 12.5 hours.

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