The streets have been cleared. The debris are being cleaned up. The losses have been counted. Two weeks after an EF5 tornado ripped through the heart of their city, the people of Joplin, Missouri look to the future.
Five days after an EF5 tornado carved a swath of destruction through the heart of Joplin, Missouri, the city continues to dig out and plan its recovery. Two sweeps through the affected area have been completed by search and rescue teams using cadaver dogs. Five areas have been identified for further investigation. 126 deaths are currently being reported, with 6,800 homes destroyed.
The National Weather Service has upgraded its rating of the tornado that tore through the center of Joplin Missouri just after 5 pm on Sunday. The storm, with winds in excess of 200 mph, has been rated an EF5.
The latest toll for the monster twister is 122 deaths, 1,500 plus injured, and hundreds still unaccounted for. The six mile path through the city of Joplin varied from one half to three quarters of a mile wide.
The Missouri National Guard has over 250 soldiers in Joplin. Trained search and rescue units, military police and engineering units are all active. The Joplin armory is expected to be up and running tomorrow as the task force headquarters for the Guard response. 450 additional Guardsmen are on standby for deployment to Joplin, and will be dispatched as the needs of the community dictate.
I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to deploy Citizen-Soldiers and assets to support local law enforcement agencies with emergency coordination and recovery, and other state assets have been mobilized to provide emergency support as well. I urge Missourians to keep a close eye on the latest weather information and to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency personnel as these deadly storms continue to move through our state.