Tornado Strikes Joplin, Missouri Nearly Wiped Off the Face of the Earth Kills 122; Minneapolis’ North Side and Suburbs, La Crosse, Wisconsin and Topeka,Kansas Suburbs Hit by Storms as Well

On Sunday evening as families were having dinner or nighttime Church services a Category EF-5 Tornado Slams in to Joplin, MO. 40 Years to the Month killing 116, injuring more than 2000 people. The images are striking. St. John Regional Medical Center one  largest hospital in Southwest Missouri suffered heavy damage in six deaths, windows blown out. KOAM-TV/HD “KOAM News“:

Joplin city manager Mark Rhor says in the news conference that search and rescue efforts continue.

Rhor says the death toll is now at 122, but names are still not being released.

He said nine survivors have been found over the past two days during search efforts.

8,000 structures were damaged in Joplin over a 1,800 acre area.

Rhor says the city has been testing the siren system, and and all but two are working.  Those will be repaired.  In the meantime, the uncovered area will be notified with PA by the police department.

From The New York Times:

An additional 1,500 people remained on the official list of those who remained unaccounted for, which ballooned in a flood of worried phone calls but is gradually shrinking as the names of the living and the dead are scratched off.

The police said two people were found alive Tuesday, in addition to seven found on Monday.

Because cellphone service was knocked out by the storm on Sunday and remained spotty two days later, many residents were unable to contact friends and relatives who may still be alive. Residents’ frustration and fears grew as officials declined to share the names of the dead and the missing, and they have turned to local radio and Facebook.

Missouri Politicians  came to Joplin to the tornado damage for themselves. From KODE-TV/HD -KSNF-TV/HD “Action 12 News”/”KSN NEWS”:

Senator Roy Blunt and Congressman Billy Long toured the tornado devastation.

They met with FEMA directors, the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, and other emergency units involved in the disaster.

President Obama speaking from London,United Kingdom reassure the tornado victims the US Federal Government is help on the way. The President will visit Joplin on Sunday. From KCTV/HD “KCTV 5 News”:

President Barack Obama plans to travel to the tornado-damaged state of Missouri on Sunday.A tornado that cut through the city of Joplin on Sunday was the single deadliest twister to ever hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records 61 years ago. At least 124 people have died.”We are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure they recover,” said Obama, in England on Tuesday to meet with Britain’s royal family and huddle with top politicians.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy Administrator Richard Serino have traveled to Missouri to work with state and local officials, Obama said.

Rescue workers search Apartments and stores for survivors. From ABC News:

Rescuers shifted through the rubble of six miles of debris and more than 2000 damaged buildings on Monday, looking for survivors as high winds and hail continues to plague the area.

“This a community. We are more than a city … we do things together,” Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. “The city sheltered a number of people the first night, but it was a hundred or so, something like that. Given that we had 2,000 structures that are damaged, you wonder where those people went. Well, they’re staying with friends, they’re staying with family, some of them may be staying with complete strangers they don’t know but may have taken them in. The amount of donations we’ve had is overwhelming.”

A small EF-2 tornado struck Minneapolis Far North Side killing one injuring several others. 60 miles away in La Crosse, WI a strong line of thunderstorms damage over 200 homes in that area. From WCCO-TV/HD  “WCCO 4 News”:

About 800 homes were damaged by the storm that hit north Minneapolis on Sunday, and a lot of people in the community have been toughing it out despite roof damage and other damage.

But Tuesday afternoon, the city informed some of those folks that, like it or not, their house isn’t safe enough to live in anymore.

“They say we have to leave our house, our house is unsafe. But the man never checked the structure,” said DeWayne Thornton.

A powerful storm sideswiped this western Wisconsin city on Sunday, tearing roofs from homes and littering streets and lawns with downed trees and debris.

One person is dead when a EF-3 tornado struck Reading,KS 60 miles southwest Topeka and 20 miles from Emporia,KS. From WIBW-TV “13 News“:

Reading, a small town of about 250 located 19 miles northeast of Emporia was destroyed in a late Saturday night EF3 tornado.

The twister killed 53-year-old Don Chesmore.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Sharon Watson says Don Chesmore was in a mobile home that flipped over Saturday night.

Chesmore was taken to a hospital in Emporia, where he was pronounced dead. Four others were injured in the tornado.

About 20 houses, the downtown post office, bank, the town’s only cafe and the elementary school were all hit.

Please the Midwest in your prayers!

Read it all!

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