Two hundred miles away, no cell-phone reception, and the feeling of hopelessness: Joplin native Chip Gubera felt lost right after the tornado hit.
"It was devastating," filmmaker Chip Gubera says. "I couldn't call. I couldn't do anything. All the lines were down. It was very frightening"
Gubera decided to help his hometown in the way he knew best. He made a documentary called "Joplin Tornado: A Tornado Story."
"I know about video production and that type of story telling," Gubera says. "So instead of going back with a chain saw, I came back with a camera."
Though shifting through hours of footage, with each scene more devastating than the next, it wasn't easy for Chip to figure out just how to tell Joplin's story.
"I had a bunch of interviews and I was unsure what to do with all of this," Gubera says.
With advice from his father, his biggest supporter, he decided to focus on the people of Joplin in this story of survival, recovery, and hope.
"I realized that everyone had the same story, what were they doing before, what were they doing during the storm, and what happened after the storm," Gubera says.
"It's powerful," father and producer Conrad Gubera says. "It will probably bring back memories if someone's been a part of it."
Gubera says making the film was emotional, but is worth the time and effort if it helps residents remember this important piece of Joplin's history.
Copies of the film will be available at the Missouri Southern's bookstore and the Joplin Museum Complex for $20.
Twenty-percent of the proceeds will go to the group Rebuild Joplin.