The tornado which struck Joplin, Mo. Sunday has officially been upgraded to an EF-5, the strongest classification of tornado, by the National Weather Service. I spoke to NWS earlier today and the storms which are expected to start impacting Southeast Kansas in the next 20 to 30 minutes are perhaps stronger than the one which spawned the monster twister Sunday night.
The death toll has risen to 122, but nine people have so far been pulled alive from the rubble, and rescuers and residents are taking each one as a small victory over the storm. There are apparently 1,500 or so still considered missing, but officials are quick to stress many of those are people who were out of town at the time of the storm and have yet to check in. The tornado is now said to have been a half-mile wide and the path is over 6 miles long. This is now the 8th deadliest tornado in U.S. History. Officials say there are about 3,000 structures damaged.