Rescue workers Monday searched for survivors of a massive tornado that killed at least 89 people and leveled schools, businesses and churches in the southwest Missouri city of Joplin.
“We are just in shock and disbelief,” said Trisha Raney, a city councilwoman in the town of about 50,000 people. “We feel like we were in a bad dream.”
The tornado roared through Joplin on Sunday evening, destroying some 2,000 buildings and damaging 25% to 30% of the city, officials told the Associated Press.
The death toll was expected to climb Monday as search and rescue workers continued their efforts, said city councilwoman Melodee Colbert-Kean, who serves as vice mayor. She said severe thunderstorms Monday were hampering efforts. “It is utter chaos. It’s like a war zone,” she said.
The Joplin twister was one of 68 reported tornadoes across seven Midwest states over the weekend, from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. At least one person was killed in Minneapolis and another was killed in Reading, Kan.
This has definitely been a bad year for tornadoes so far.
On the other hand:
Mr. Rohr said the twister cut a path nearly six miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town, adding that tornado sirens gave residents about a 20-minute warning before the tornado touched down on the city’s west side.
Our warning system is definitely getting much, much better.