The death toll from Sunday's devastating tornado in Joplin is now up to 126. Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr announced the updated figure to reporters Thursday after meeting with residents and government officials about plans to offer assistance to victimized residents. More than 900 people suffered injuries in Sunday's tornado, now considered the nation's single-deadliest in six decades.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) wants the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cleanup costs from the Joplin tornado.
The federal government typically covers 75 percent of the costs of responding to disasters, with state and local governments picking up the rest. But Blunt says he has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to pick up more than that in Joplin’s case.
Scenes of heroism during and after Joplin’s Sunday tornado are beginning to trickle out –and no scene is more gripping than what happened inside the nine-story St. John’s Regional Medical Center when the EF5 tornado began to wreak havoc on the roof, windows, and electricity of the hospital.
As KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports, a mostly female staff managed to evacuate the entire hospital within 90 minutes of the tornado.
This morning as the National Weather Service upgraded the tornado risk to "high" for the St. Louis area this afternoon, meteorologist and severe weather expert Mike Smith joined us for St. Louis on the Air. Smith called this the "worst tornado season" since the 1950's and cautioned that complacency about risk can be one of the deadliest factors during any storm.