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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Joplin, MO, is a small city that April’s storms put on the map as soon as they wiped it off. It was then that Wilmington photographer Amy McConnell grabbed her camera and hit the road to her hometown to capture the devastation. McConnell says she found one thing still standing amongst the rubble: the American flag.

“There was a flag on every surface, and they were like band aids everywhere. I didn’t have a lens big enough to capture how big the devastation was, so I just focused on the flags,” McConnell said.

As the death toll continued to rise and families called out for their missing loved ones, she says hope was still alive.

“Although it will be 20 years before people recover from it and some of the stories were really horrific, I do think there’s a sense of community and hope,” McConnell said.

For Joplin, the American spirit shines brighter than ever before.

“I think there will be a lot of flag waving over Joplin for some time.”

McConnell still has family living in Joplin. She says thankfully they all survived the storms.


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