Tornado in Joplin, Missouri, Kills at Least 89

Not the actual tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, yesterday afternoon -- but pretty scary, too.
Not the actual tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, yesterday afternoon -- but pretty scary, too.

So the world didn't end on Saturday.

But residents of Joplin, Missouri, could have been forgiven for wondering yesterday if the apocalypse was merely a day late. A tornado ripped through the town in the state's southwestern corner yesterday afternoon, killing at least 89 people and causing significant damage to St. John's Regional Medical Center.

The city manager told reporters that the tornado's path was an astonishing six miles long and a half-mile wide -- and hit the center of town. The hospital reportedly suffered a direct hit.

Phone service to Joplin was still down as of last night, and officials worry that the fatalities there may actually be much higher. Last month, nearly 300 people were killed when a series of tornadoes struck Alabama and other southeastern states.

A tornado also struck Minneapolis yesterday. So far, one person has been reported dead.

A tornado previously struck Joplin in May 1971. Despite reportedly touching down near the center of town and sweeping through 40 city blocks, that twister only killed one person. Another 50, however, were injured.

We'll have more on this devastating story when we know more. In the mean time, here's the website for the American Red Cross' Greater Ozarks Regional Chapter, which includes Joplin.

Related Content

Photos: Tornado Damage in Joplin, Missouri

Missouri National Guard Mobilized in Joplin After Deadly Tornado

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati and Cleveland. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.