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May 24th, 2011
Massive Tornado

Dozens are dead and even more injured after nearly 50 tornadoes tore though parts of the Midwest on Sunday. At least 89 people were killed in Joplin, Mo., which received the worst of the severe weather. Damage was widespread across the city as homes, schools and a hospital were hit by a massive tornado.

According to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert, x-ray films from the hospital were found 70 miles away in a driveway.

Meanwhile, school has already been canceled on Monday with one of the Joplin School District's buildings receiving catastrophic damage. Many of the dead were residents looking to seek shelter when the buildings they were in collapsed.

The tornado traveled 6 miles from the west side of the city to the southeast portion. The southern edge of the city was the hardest hit. The tornado ranged from half a mile to three-quarters of a mile wide. While the exact strength of the storm is yet to be determined, it could be upwards of an EF4.

According to Kathy Dennis of the American Red Cross, "75% of the town is virtually gone."

Scenes from the city look much like those of the tornadoes that claimed more than 300 lives in the Southeast last month. Throughout the city, roads are littered with downed trees and buildings, making them nearly impassable.

Interstate 44 also had significant damage as 20 cars and tractor-trailers were overturned. According to the Associated Press, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard, while emergency crews were conducting search and rescue operations.

The number of dead is expected to rise as the crews sort through the rubble.

 


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