Joplin tornado

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Less than a dozen people remain unaccounted for after the tornado that hit Joplin last week.

Missouri Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Andrea Spillars said Tuesday that 10 people remain missing. Spillars says two new names were added to the missing list Monday, but four people were removed once officials learned they were alive.

It's not known how many people in all died in the May 22 storm.

Updated 5:07 p.m. to reflect that the cleanup work begins Wednesday.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the federal government has agreed to pay a greater-than-usual share of the cleanup costs from a deadly tornado that struck Joplin.

He says the federal government will cover 90 percent of the expedited debris removal from areas that received extensive damage.

Flickr/ jglazer75

Ill. General Assembly Approves Budget

Schools are traditionally an area Illinois legislators have left untouched when they're looking to cut spending. But the budget the General Assembly approved Monday night gives 3 percent less to education for the coming year that begins in July.

Overall cuts are wide ranging and total $2.3 billion less than what Gov. Pat Quinn proposed  in Feb. That was enough for Republicans in the House, but the Senate GOP says it's still too rich.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will shift $25 million from next year’s state budget to help pay for damage in Joplin caused by last weekend’s deadly tornado.

Nixon says he doesn’t yet know which areas of the FY 2012 budget he’ll use to help offset tornado expenses.

“What decisions we have to make because of that to trim the budget and to balance, we’ll make over the coming weeks…if the demands for dollars continue to move up, we clearly have other sources, other ways to get resources,” Nixon said.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The state of Missouri says the number of people missing or unaccounted for since the Joplin tornado is now at 156.

Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars said Friday that officials are working 24 hours a day to trim the list that stood at 232 a day earlier.

Here is a link to the updated list of those unaccounted for.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Joplin Tornado Death Toll at 126

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.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

A feature from KSMU's Jennifer Moore

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.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated 1:39 p.m. May 26 with link to unaccounted-for list and information about first person on list.

Missouri officials say 232 people are still unaccounted for four days after a deadly tornado ripped through Joplin.

Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars says a list of the names will be released Thursday. She urged survivors to check in.

(Mike Smith)

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. 

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

Updated at 5:36 p.m.:

The latest number of confirmed dead has risen to 125. (via the Associated Press)

Updated with latest information from SEMA:

  • 123 people are now confirmed dead. 503 are in shelters across the region.
  • Primary and secondary search and rescue mission have been completed. 18 cadaver dog teams are now searching the area.
  • Joplin law enforcement has requested additional assistance, and Jasper County 911 has indicated the need for more 911 operators.
  • All of the arterial and collector streets in Joplin have been cleared of debris.

The massive tornado that tore through Joplin, Mo. is now officially the deadliest single twister in the U.S. in nearly six decades with a death toll of at least 122. The National Weather Service says the tornado was a highest-rated EF5 storm, with winds greater than 200 mph.

City Manager Mark Rohr said Tuesday that more than 750 people were injured. Nine people also have been recovered from debris and authorities say the search and rescue is continuing.

The twister that hit Joplin on Sunday is the deadliest single tornado since the National Weather Service began keeping official records in 1950. It's the 8th-deadliest single twister in U.S. history.

Federal officials estimate about 8,000 structures were damaged.

More updates from the Tuesday evening press conference and into the evening of May 24:

  • A curfew will be put in place in Joplin, beginning tonight, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Permits will be issued to residents who reside within the tornado's footprint.
  • Search and rescue teams today (Tuesday) pulled two more people from the wreckage alive  - one from the basement of a house, another from a business.
  • Search and rescue teams have completed two complete sweeps of the area and were working on a third as of 5 p.m. today (Tuesday). They expect to do as many as five searches.
  • 1,500 people are listed as missing, but that number includes residents who may have traveled outside the area. The City Manager is asking Joplin residents who left the area  to call 417-659-5464 to check in, let people know where they are - they could currently be listed as missing.
  • City officials say 400 firefighters and other emergency personnel from across the state are assisting in the search and rescue operation, as well as 200 trained civilian volunteers.
  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed an executive order designed to allow physicians from outside Missouri to treat patients and to permit pharmacists to provide medication for people whose medical records are missing. Nixon says the order would allow people living in Joplin to continue receiving medical treatment.

Will be updated with more information.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated at 5:16 p.m. with gallery of aerial photographs from

Updated at 4:29 p.m. with information on multi-vortex designation from the National Weather Service.

The New York Times brings us this update this afternoon on the continuing situation in Joplin:

About 1,500 people are unaccounted for in this battered city, a Fire Department official said Tuesday, as rescue workers took advantage of a few hours of sunny weather to continue searching for survivors in buildings leveled by the country’s deadliest tornado in more than 60 years.

As of 1 p.m. today, The Missouri State Emergency Management Association, or SEMA, lists the death toll at 117 people, and that number could climb.

(via Flickr/Cliff1066tm)

Republicans controlling the House are preparing a $1 billion aid package to make sure federal disaster relief accounts don't run out.

Rep. Robert Aderholt said the move would ensure that there's enough money for victims of the devastating tornado that leveled Joplin, Mo., on Sunday, as well as those suffering from flooding in the Mississippi Basin and from tornadoes that swept across Alabama last month.

(Official White House

Obama to Visit Joplin

Speaking from London, President Barack Obama says he plans to travel to Missouri on Sunday to meet with victims of the "devastating and heartbreaking" tornadoes that hit the state this weekend.

The president says he wants Midwesterners whose lives were disrupted by the deadly storms to be assured that the federal government will use all resources possible to help them recover and rebuild. Obama spoke in London, the second stop on his four-country, six-day tour of Europe. The president is due back in Washington Saturday night.

(KCUR/Dan Verbeck)

Updated at 8:20 a.m. May 24:

According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, 117 people are now confirmed dead. The latest information from DPS is available here.

Updated at 7:19 a.m. May 24:

Joplin Asst. City Manager Sam Anselm says rescuers found no new victims or survivors as they worked through the night. The death toll remains at 116.

So far, 17 people have been rescued from debris left across the city.

(Screen capture via YouTube user aarondurall85)

Forty years to the month after a paralyzing tornado struck Joplin, MO in 1971, rescue workers carefully search the again devastated city for survivors of last night's storm.  KCUR's Dan Verbeck joined us from Joplin during today's St. Louis on the Air.   90 people are now confirmed dead due to the tornado, but one fire official told Verbeck they expect the toll to rise to at least 100.

(Screen capture via YouTube user thomasstout25)

Devastation in Joplin Following Tornado

Rescue workers are searching for survivors following a massive tornado that blasted a four-mile path across southwestern Missouri slamming into the city of Joplin with cataclysmic force. The tornado last night ripped into a hospital, destroyed neighborhoods and upended cars.

Eighty-nine people have been confirmed dead.

Previously, parts of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area were under a tornado watch. This tornado watch has now been lifted.

For the latest updates from the National Weather Service, see this update page.

Joplin, Mo. was also hit particularly hard from this round of tornadoes and storms. Fatalities have been confirmed.

See previous updates after the break.