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More Than 100 Killed After Tornado Slams Missouri

Ryan Faughnder |
May 23, 2011 | 9:08 a.m. PDT

Senior News Editor

A powerful tornado that ripped through the Missouri town of Joplin left at least 116 people dead, and local authorities expect the toll to rise, reports said Monday. The twister tore through the 50,000-person city overnight, leveling churches, stores, homes and everything else in its path. It is the deadliest tornado in the U.S. since 1953.

The city of Joplin, which sits 160 miles south of Kansas City, was virtually cut "in-half" by the storm, as fire chief Mitch Randles put it.

As USA Today reports, the scale of the damage was "breathtaking," leaving numerous residents homeless:

Roger Dedick and his wife survived the storm by taking shelter in the couple's garage, which is partly underground. There are no walls on the house the couple lived in for 17 years.

"That's all that's left," Dedick said, pointing to a section of foundation with a small stairwell.

Dedick said his ears popped as the tornado blew the windows out of the garage. He said he had to use a metal bar to pry his way out of the rubble of his home.

President Barack Obama called Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to offer support and to assure him that FEMA would remain in close contact with local responders.

Follow New York Times reporter Brian Stelter for live updates on the situation on Twitter. 

The video below was taken from inside a Joplin convenience store. The visuals are unclear, but the audio illustrates the horror of the event.

Video below by izelsg (via CBS).

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