Joplin One Year Later

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Monday, May 21, 2012 - 2:37pm

Joplin, Missouri marks the anniversary of the deadly tornado that ripped the town part.

Tomorrow marks one year since one of the deadliest tornados in U.S. history struck Joplin, Missouri.

161 people were killed, more than 900 others injured.

Thousands of structures were flattened.

A lot has happened since then.

A year after her home was ripped to shreds, fourth-generation Joplin resident Jeannie George is finally getting it fixed, thanks to Americorps volunteers.

Hers is one of approximately 10,000 buildings that were crushed by the category EF5 tornado that tore through Joplin last May 22nd.

"There's still a lot of rebuilding left to be done. If you drive through the neighborhoods, you see just empty lots," says Americorp's Chad Angell.

"We've watched in horror, so many other people. Watched them suffer the pain, going to funerals. I had to stop reading the paper," George says.

Will Norton had just graduated from high school and was driving home with his dad when the tornado literally sucked will out of the car, killing him instantly.

"It just picked up the car, just, it was like it went from zero to 100 miles an hour in a split second. All the glass blew out of the vehicle," Mark Norton says. "There isn't a day that goes by that you don't have some sadness."

Everyone in Joplin lost someone or something in that tornado, but they've also gained a newfound appreciation for the important things in life.

President Obama will deliver the commencement speech at the Joplin High School graduation Monday evening.

The tornado struck shortly after the same graduation ceremony last year and completely leveled Joplin High.

As for the actual anniversary, lots of city-wide events are planned including a community-wide walk of unity.
 

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