In the midst of the Second World War, Joplin was inundated with soldiers from nearby Camp Crowder, a war driven demand for lead and zinc, and approximately 10 inches of rain within 36 hours in 1943. The 1943 flood affected most of Joplin with the area of “Main and Joplin streets from Fifth to Sixth streets” suffering the worse damage in the business district. The May flood was described by the Joplin Globe, “One man was missing and believed drowned, hundreds of families were temporarily homeless, whole communities were isolated. Joplin’s water system was menaced, and thousands of acres of land were inundated last night as the most devastating floods this district ever experienced swirled over southwest Missouri and the Tri-State district in the wake of unprecedented rains.”
Below are two photos of Joplin at the time of the flood, click on either image for a larger version.
Thank you to Dan Bell for sharing the photographs with Historic Joplin! We invite anyone to share scans of their Joplin photos, documents, or other items with us and we will be glad to share them on Historic Joplin with others interested in the city’s fascinating history.