joplin tornado

Joplin tornado damage
Courtney Flatt / KBIA

A nonprofit group established to help Joplin rebuild after the 2011 tornado still has plenty work to do but has been steadily losing volunteers.

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The Minority Achievement Committee, or MAC Scholars, is a national program that supports academic achievement and community involvement for minority students. The nine programs in the Columbia Public School District encourage students to look to positive role models, whether they're in the community or another continent. KBIA’s Hope Kirwan caught up with the scholars at Lange Middle School at their recent tribute to Nelson Mandela, the former South African President and activist.

joplin high school
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C.J. Huff received a text message from his father after he completed an interview on Fox News about how Joplin was planning on moving forward after the tornado.

"Saw you on Fox. So proud of you. Now show them what you can really do."

The text was encouraging, as Huff’s father knew his son would have a plan. Three years later, Huff laughed in front of an audience of educators, parents and students as he explained to them he didn’t have a plan.

Jennifer Davidson / KSMU

Joplin leaders share their stories about the 2011 tornado and the recovery efforts that followed in a newly published book.

The Joplin Globe reports the book, titled "Joplin Pays It Forward," can be downloaded for free from the city's website. It's also available from the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, and in an e-book format from Amazon.

Joplin tornado damage
Courtney Flatt / KBIA

A group that collected thousands of photos after the Joplin tornado is planning a ceremony this week in the southwest Missouri city.

The state of Missouri is giving the city of Joplin 32 storm shelters that were used at temporary housing sites after the 2011 tornado.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave the shelters to the state, which offered them to Joplin for free.

The Joplin City Council decided this week to use half of the shelters on public property. Organizations can apply for the remaining shelters.

The Joplin Globe reports organizations will only have to pay the moving costs. Joplin’s finance director says moving each shelter could cost 8,650 dollars. 

Two years after a tornado tore through Joplin, excavation work continues on yards that revealed high levels of lead after being disrupted by the storm.

The Joplin Globe reports most of the lead found in the yards was discovered where a tree was uprooted. Other mine waste was exposed where foundations and driveways were before the tornado.

The city says of the 1,091 yards sampled for lead in Joplin's disaster zone after the May 22, 2011, tornado, 426 needed the excavation of lead-contaminated soil. As of last week, 182 of those properties had been excavated.

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File / KBIA

Missouri’s final tab for the Joplin tornado and the 2011 flooding has proven to be much smaller than what Gov. Jay Nixon anticipated.

Figures provided to The Associated Press by Nixon's budget office show that the state's share for the disasters is a little more than $36 million. That's only a quarter of the $150 million that Nixon set aside in the budget in 2011.

Jennifer Davidson / KSMU

If you’re in the Ozarks, it’s hard not to compare the images and stories out of Moore, Oklahoma to those from the May, 2011 Joplin tornado that killed 161 people.  Jeff Nene, the spokesman for Convoy of Hope, says the similarities are distinct from a relief perspective, too, including a wide path of destruction through residential areas.

“We learned in Joplin the value of mobile distribution,” Nene said.

Mobile distribution is just like it sounds:  taking food, supplies, and services out to remote sites.

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Officials of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce have presented the first installment of a special fund for the town of Moore, Okla., following last week’s EF5 tornado that devastated the city.

The Joplin Globe reports the $20,000-dollars in donations delivered Saturday are intended to help the Moore Chamber of Commerce start its own business recovery fund.

  Two years to the day that an EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people, the city was greeted with near perfect weather, as thousands came out Wednesday to honor the lives of those lost, and reflect upon the continuing recovery effort.

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File / KBIA

The federal government is giving the city of Joplin a deal on two fire engines it loaned the city after the 2011 tornado.

University of Missouri School of Medicine

Housing re-opened for third year medical students practicing rural medicine in Joplin Monday. The housing is part of the MU School of Medicine rural track pipeline program, which trains students to practice medicine in small, rural communities.

The Joplin arm of the program shut down in 2011, after a tornado destroyed the old living quarters.

Kathleen Quinn is the director of the rural track pipeline program at MU and she says the program helps create more doctors in rural areas, where care could be in short supply.

Missouri senators have endorsed a plan that could provide $15 million to Joplin to rebuild street curbs and gutters that were damaged as a result of the 2011 tornado.

The bill given initial approval Wednesday would fund disaster recovery projects by redirecting money from other areas of state government. Among the entities that would lose money are the state insurance department and an agency that helps finance health and educational facilities.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is suing a southwest Missouri company for allegedly dumping tornado waste from Joplin into an abandoned mine shaft.

Koster on Monday announced the suit against Bryan Weldon and Weldon Contractors and Construction LLC of Joplin. It alleges that Weldon dumped about 100 cubic yards of demolition waste from the 2011 Joplin tornado into an abandoned mine shaft near Neck City in Jasper County.

The suit seeks an injunction against further dumping as well as a civil penalty.

Convoy of Hope

Another family who survived the deadly Joplin tornado in May 2011 has received a new home from a Springfield-based nonprofit.

Joplin tornado damage
Courtney Flatt / KBIA

Members of the Joplin Elks Lodge that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado are holding a grand reopening.

The Joplin Globe reports that the lodge is holding its grand reopening Saturday, nearly 20 months after the May 2011 tornado destroyed the lodge, scores of other Joplin buildings and killed 161 people, including four people who were at the lodge.

The Elks have been meeting in a large garage on the lodge property. But with the help of insurance and donations, members broke ground on the new $2.7 million lodge a year ago.

KBIA / File photo

A master planner hired to guide Joplin's recovery from the deadly May 2011 tornado plans to present his first slate of projects to city elected leaders Monday night.

Ragtag holds special screening to benefit Joplin

May 22, 2012
Photo courtesy of Ragtag

To mark the one-year anniversary of the Joplin tornado, tonight Columbia’s Ragtag Cinema is screening a documentary that relives the days following the disaster.

KSMU's Missy Shelton contributed reporting for this story.

A commencement address from President Barack Obama capped a difficult year for the Joplin High School class of 2012.

An EF-5 tornado struck the southwestern Missouri town a year ago today, killing 161 people and injuring hundreds more. The storm destroyed five school buildings, including the high school. Students attended their senior year classes in a converted big box store.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

Joplin High School's Class of 2012 will cap a senior year marked by tragedy and perseverance Monday night with a commencement speech by President Barack Obama.

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