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May-25-2011 00:48printcomments

Missouri Reels in Wake of Storm, More than 120 Dead

Includes updates and helpful links for survivors.

Officials in Missouri deal with problems left behind by severe weather.

(JOPLIN / SALEM) - More than 850 people are hospitalized in the wake of Sunday's deadly tornado that struck near Joplin, Missouri at approximately 5:41 p.m. Sunday. Survivors are in two area hospitals, while more than 100 of the more critically injured have been transported to outside medical facilities for treatment. The death toll at last count was 123 at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

People on the ground described the tornado as being a half mile wide. State officials say it was tracked on the ground for approximately four miles, damaging and destroying a number of residences and buildings, including St. John's Hospital.

The National Weather Service announced it has now classified as an EF5 tornado, the most powerful classification.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon activated the state's National Guard and directed all available response resources be deployed to the area.

Tornado Information

Joplin area residents are reminded that police and fire officials strongly encouraging anyone who does not have a home in the affected area to please stay clear of the damage site. Search and rescue operations are continuing and emergency personnel say they need full, unobstructed access to do their jobs.

They added, "Thank you for your cooperation. And please help spread the word."

Officials say the Joplin Tornado Sirens were tested Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The test went well and they are working. The damaged siren has been fixed and a temporary siren has been deployed at 22nd & Illinois.

Missouri American Water has issued a boil order for all water to be ingested or consumed in the City of Joplin and will continue until further notice. Bring your water to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes.


City of Joplin Facebook Page - Most current City information being posted there first.

Safe & Well Website - Red Cross, Safe and Well Website. You can report yourself Safe and Well & search for loved ones.

State of Missouri - Joplin Tornado Information

www.disasterassistance.gov - FEMA Disaster Assistance

Residents and business owners affected by the storm can apply for assistance through FEMA, with up to $30,200 available for each individual. Visit www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-FEMA (3362), or register via smartphone at m.FEMA.gov.

This information and much more can be found on the Joplin, Mo. Website.

Search and rescue teams find two more survivors in wreckage left by Joplin tornado

Searchers have now located nine survivors, and they vow to continue searching. Search and rescue teams have pulled two more survivors from the massive debris field left by the tornado that ripped through Joplin on May 22, officials announced at a news conference Tuesday evening. Including the two people rescued in the last 24 hours, a total of nine survivors have been located by search and rescue teams, which include more than 400 firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and 200 trained civilian volunteers.

Teams are expected to search the entire area for a fourth time starting Wednesday, and they vowed to complete a fifth search following that.

Officials also announced that more than 750 people have been treated at Joplin's two hospitals for injuries suffered in the tornado that the National Weather Service announced it has now classified as an EF5 tornado, the most powerful classification. More than 100 survivors have been transported to hospitals outside the area for treatment. At 8:30 p.m. officials also announced that the death toll had risen to 123.

Because many residents are believed to have left the area after Sunday's devastation, a phone number has been established for those who have left town to call and let authorities know that they are safe, along with their current whereabouts. That number is (417) 659-5464.

Officials also announced the following:

·    Missouri Task Force 1, the Boone County Fire Protection District's search and rescue team, completed its search of the destroyed Home Depot hardware store and found no survivors.

·    The conditions of the two rescuers who were injured by lightning on Monday remain the same. One was treated and released at a hospital. The other remains in critical condition.

·    Joplin police announced that to ensure security, the area affected by the tornado will be restricted to residents with permits issued by the city. A 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew has also been established within the impacted zone. Residents of the area are being instructed to remain inside their residences during the curfew period.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined that 5,000 "structures" were damaged or destroyed in the impacted area. It was explained that in a multi-unit apartment complex, each individual apartment is considered a structure.

With possible severe weather on the way on Tuesday evening, Joplin city employees tested the seven tornado sirens that were still standing in the area impacted by Sunday's tornado. It was determined that they are all working properly. One of the two other sirens that were missing was replaced on Tuesday. The other will be replaced Wednesday. Until then, in the event of a tornado warning, the public address systems on police vehicles will be use to notify residents in the area without a siren.


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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

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