Joplin tornado

Joplin Tornado
12:13 pm
Wed May 25, 2011

Death toll rises in Joplin, tornado was highest-rated EF5

Tree limbs are piled up near Saint John's Hospital in Joplin, Mo. on May 22.
(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.

Joplin Tornado
1:55 pm
Tue May 24, 2011

Recovery efforts in Joplin continue with more storms forecasted

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon talk with police outside Saint .John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri on May 23.
(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.

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Disaster Relief / U.S. House of Representatives
11:03 am
Tue May 24, 2011

U.S. House GOP to advance $1B disaster aid package

The United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
(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.

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Morning round-up
9:12 am
Tue May 24, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, May 24, 2011

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, during Obama's visit to Dublin May 23. The President and Gov. Nixon discussed the deadly tornado that touched down in Joplin, Mo., Sunday night. Obama will visit Joplin May 29.
(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.

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Joplin Tornado
7:22 am
Tue May 24, 2011

Joplin hit by devastating tornado, recovery underway

The scene today near 23rd and Main St. in Joplin, Mo. following last night's tornado.
(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.

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from St. Louis on the Air
1:08 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

Rescue workers search for survivors in Joplin

This is a screen capture of the scene in Joplin, Mo. following the tornado that struck the town on May 22.
(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.

Morning round-up
9:26 am
Mon May 23, 2011

Morning Headlines: Monday, May 23, 2011

A screen capture of a video taken of the destruction following a tornado in Joplin, Mo. Dozens of fatalities resulting from the storm have already been confirmed in the area.
(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.

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Severe Weather
11:19 pm
Sun May 22, 2011

Severe weather hits Missouri

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.

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