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Morning headlines: Wednesday, May 25, 2011

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock
Patrick Foreman comforts his wife in what was the second floor of their home. in Joplin, Missouri on May 24, 2011. The tornado that hit Joplin on May 22 has claimed 122 lives and is now the deadliest single U.S. tornado in about 60 years.

Joplin City Leaders Not Giving Up Hope

Officials in Joplin refuse to abandon hope of finding more survivors in the wreckage from Sunday night's tornado that killed at least 122 people and injured 750 more.

Rescuers are preparing to go over ground searched as many as three times already. The search has been described as "methodical" with rescuers going house-to-house searching for those trapped in the rubble.

Teams from the National Weather Service completed their survey of the damaged area Tuesday, and meteorologist Bill Davis says they have increased the size of the tornado to an EF5. That's the strongest rating assigned to tornadoes, with winds of more than 200 mph.

"This is the 8th deadliest single tornado on record," said Davis at a press conference in Joplin on Tuesday.

Even as Joplin limped forward with the search, violent weather struck again, killing at least nine people in nearby Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. Joplin residents ducked for cover again as late-night tornado sirens sounded again. The storms brushed past without serious problems

Severe Weather Headed to St. Louis Metro Area

Violent weather could be headed to St. Louis this afternoon. The National Weather Service (NWS) is expecting a significant severe weather outbreak today.

Meteorologist Melissa Byrd with the NWS, says the weather will effect the eastern half of Mo., and the southern half of Ill. The potential storms could produce wind gusts above 60 mph.

Nixon Sign Executive Order to Help Tornado Victims Get Medication

Gov. Nixon signed an executive order Tuesday to allow physicians from outside Mo. to treat patients and to permit pharmacists to provide medication for people whose medical records are missing. It allows the Mo. Dept. of Health and Senior Services and the state Board of Pharmacy to temporarily waive certain rules and regulations.

According to Nixon, the order will allow people living in Joplin to continue receiving medical treatment.

The tornado hit a major hospital on Sunday, dumping X-rays and medical records two counties away.



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