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Tornadoes can form anytime of year, but occur most frequently in April, May, and June, due to favorable weather conditions. Earlier this week a massive 200-mile-per-hour EF5 tornado hit Moore, Okla., killing some two dozen people, damaging thousands of structures, and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. This year, twisters have already touched down in Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Alabama. ( 46 photos total)
A woman carries a child through a field near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., on May 20. A tornado as much as half a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)     

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

Nathan Pearce

Midwest Dirt

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When I was 18 years old I packed my bags and left rural Illinois. It had been my home my entire life, but I thought in leaving I would find the perfect place for myself elsewhere. In the city everything and everyone I knew was very different from what I knew back home and yet at the same time familiar. The wild and restless days of my youth were in full swing. But when I awoke those mornings I still expected to see my old midwestern life.

Where I was living wasn’t exactly the wrong place for me, and at its core my life wasn’t drastically different, but it wasn’t home.
I came back home to live almost a decade later. I still have no idea if this time I will stay for good, I don’t know if that will ever happen.
The wild restless days and nights haven’t ceased.

Some nights when I lay down in my bed and close my eyes I fantasize that I didn’t ever return. I dream that I could get right back up and go over to my corner bar in the city and have a drink looking out on the crowded street.

But I’m not there. I’m here. In the country.

Now it’s just after harvest time, my favorite time of year. The fields are almost cleared and I’m barefoot on my porch with a beer in my hands. I can see for miles.

This project is about a time in my mid twenties when I can feel the tension between home and away.

 

Bio

Nathan Pearce (born 1986) is a photographer based in Southern Illinois.
He also works in an auto body repair shop.

 

Related links

Nathan Pearce

 

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Seven weeks into Occupy Wall Street, the movement continues in locations both large and small. There have been recent clashes between protesters and police in several cities, most notably Oakland, California. Some of the first protesters arrested in New York are due to appear in court today, facing charges related to mass arrests made earlier in Manhattan and on the Brooklyn Bridge. Meanwhile, financial support has been pouring in. OWS organizers have raised more than half a million dollars and are now struggling to manage such a large pool of donations. Gathered here are recent scenes from the Occupy movement across the U.S. and overseas. [43 photos]

Occupy Oakland protesters cheer as they climb on tractor trailers loaded with shipping containers at the Port of Oakland, California, on November 2, 2011, effectively shutting down the United States' fifth busiest port during a day of non-stop protesting in Oakland. (AP Photo, Kent Porter, Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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KEEPING WATCH
KEEPING WATCH: A broker looked at computer screens in the trading room of a bank in Lisbon Wednesday. Portugal paid a slightly higher interest rate to borrow $1.7 billion in a debt auction. (Francisco Seco/Associated Press)

FLOTATION DEVICE
FLOTATION DEVICE: A young monk waited to give other monks a ride from a flooded temple in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)

FISTICUFFS
FISTICUFFS: Lawmakers’ aides struggled to enter a meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul Wednesday. The ruling Grand National Party was ready to table the long-pending free-trade deal with the U.S., despite strong resistance from opposition parties. (Seo Myeong-Gon/Yonhap/Reuters)

PROTESTER DETAINED
PROTESTER DETAINED: Police officers arrested an Occupy protester in Tulsa, Okla., early Wednesday. Police used pepper spray and zip-tie handcuffs to arrest at least 10 protesters for curfew violations at a park. (Jeff Lautenberger/Associated Press)

SIGN OF DISAPPROVAL
SIGN OF DISAPPROVAL: Traders gave thumbs-down at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila where share prices fell Wednesday. The main index lost 73.13 points. (Dennis M. Sabangan/European Pressphoto Agency)

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Global protests against economic injustice gripped cities over the weekend, predominantly on Saturday, October 15. Solidarity with Spain's "Indignants" and New York's "Occupy Wall Street" protesters brought demonstrations over the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the worldwide economic crisis to cities from Hong Kong to Tulsa. Hundreds of thousands joined the mostly peaceful demonstrations, although arrests were made in many cities, and clashes with police in Rome became particularly violent. The movement shows no signs of slowing. Gathered here are images from cities large and small. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
Members of Occupy Wall Street stage a protest near Wall Street in New York on October 15, 2011. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

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From Gael Monfils of France reacting to a lost point against Radel Stepanek during the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, to San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval celebrating after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels during the ninth inning. These reactions show the level of frustration and joy that athletes and coaches endure in the high pressure world of sports.

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Gael Monfils of France reacts to a lost point against Radel Stepanek of the Czech Republic during the final of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by Geico at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Cullen Jenkins #77 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a sack of quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears in the first half in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. According to reports on July 30, 2011 Jenkins has agreed to a five year deal with $25 million with the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) #

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Ana Ivanovic of Serbia reacts to a lost point against Ayumi Morita of Japan during the Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on July 26, 2011 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Magdalena Neuner of Germany reacts at the finish area after the women's 15km individual race during the IBU Biathlon World Championships at A.V. Philipenko winter sports centre on March 9, 2011 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images) #

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Shelvin Mack #1 of the Butler Bulldogs reacts during their game against the Florida Gators in overtime of the Southeast regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) #

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Italy's Federica Pellegrini reacts after she competed in the final of the women's 200-metre freestyle swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 27, 2011. She won gold. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Vera Zvonareva of Russia reacts during her second round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix at Porsche Arena on April 20, 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images) #

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Forward Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Thunder defeated the Grizzlies to advance to the Western Conference Finals. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) #

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Will MacKenzie reacts after missing a chip on the 18th hole during the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open on August 5, 2011 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) #

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Donald Young celebrates a point against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic during the semifinals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic presented by Geico at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center on August 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) #

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Chris Pontius #13 of D.C. United reacts after missing a shot during a soccer game against the Toronto FC at RFK Stadium on August 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) #

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Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he takes off his glove after hitting into an inning ending double play to end the Dodgers scoring threat against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium on August 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) #

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US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after he competed in the final of the men's 200-metre individual medley swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 28, 2011. He won silver. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Scott Stallings reacts after making birdie on the first playoff hole to win The Greenbrier Classic at The Old White TPC on July 31, 2011 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) #

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Catriona Matthew of Scotland reacts after playing a bad shot to the 18th during the final round of the Women's British open at Carnoustie in Scotland on July 31 2011. ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images #

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Spain's Marcel Granollers celebrates after defeating Spain's Fernado Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 during the ATP tennis tournament on July 31, 2011 in Gstaad. SEBASTIEN FEVAL/AFP/Getty Images #

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Feyenoord's coach Ronald Koeman reacts during the Dutch Eredivisie football match Excelsior vs Feyenoord on August 5, 2011 in Rotterdam. ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images #

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Cologne's Moroccan striker Adil Chihi reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Koeln vs VfL Wolfsburg in the western German city of Cologne on August 6, 2011. PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images #

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Tiger Woods reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 8th hole during the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) #

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France's Gregory Mallet (C) reacts as his team-mates compete in the final of the men's 4x200-metre freestyle relay swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 29, 2011. France won silver. FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images #

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Kansas City Royals' Melky Cabrera (53) reacts to being tagged out by Detroit Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen (9) during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) #

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AC Milan's Thiago Silva, right, reacts after tackled by Inter Milan's Thiago Motta, left, during Italian Super Cup held at China's National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", in Beijing, China, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AC Milan defeated Inter Milan 2-1. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #

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Bayfield High School's John Cusick reacts in dismay after finishing second in the 3A boys' 1600-meter run at the CHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colo., on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (Daniel Petty, The Denver Post) #

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San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell reacts after getting the final out in the Padres' 8-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the ninth of a baseball game Sunday, July 31, 2011 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi) #

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Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Ervin Santana reacts after being taken out by manager Mike Scioscia during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. Santana (8-8) held the Mariners to seven hits and won his duel with Mariners' Felix Hernandez (10-10), whose 12 strikeouts were one shy of his career high as the Angels won the game 2-1. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) #

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Boston University head coach Patrick Chambers reacts to play against the Kansas in the first half of a Southwest Regional NCAA tournament second round college basketball game, Friday, March 18, 2011 in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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Kentucky's Stacey Poole Jr. (2) reacts to a three point basket during the second half of an an East regional semifinal game against Ohio State in the NCAA college basketball tournament Friday, March 25, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) #

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Colorado Rapids forward Quincy Amarikwa (12) reacts to a call for Toronto FC during a 0-0 tie match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Sunday, May 22, 2011. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post #

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D.A. Points reacts to a short second shot to the 8th green during the opening round at the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Thursday, August 4, 2011, in Akron, Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal/MCT) #

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Relief pitcher Jose Valverde #46 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after they beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in 10 innings at Kauffman Stadium on August 5, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) #

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Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after defeating Marion Bartoli, of France, 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament, Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/George Nikitin) #

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New York Yankees' Russell Martin, left, looks up as Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury, right, reacts to his pop out with bases loaded to end the sixth inning of a baseball game in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) #

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North Korea's Mun Hyok reacts during a U-20 World Cup group F soccer match against Argentina in Medellin, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Luis Benavides) #

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Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova reacts during her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Romania's Simona Halep in the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young) #

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Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis celebrates after dismissing Australian Shaun Marsh during the second Twenty20 match between Sri Lanka and Australia at The Pallekele Interntional Cricket Stadium in Pallekelle on August 8, 2011. Sri Lanka defeated Australia by eight runs in the second and final Twenty20 match at the Pallekele International Stadium on Monday to clinch the series 2-0. LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images #

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Stuttgart's headcoach Bruno Labbadia (C) celebrates as Stuttgart's Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki (not seen) scores during the German first division Bundesliga football match VfB Stuttgart vs Schalke 04 in the southern German city of Stuttgart on August 6, 2011. Stuttgart won 3-0. THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images #

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Julia Georges of Germany celebrates her win against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament on Monday, August 8, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Tyler Anderson/National Post/Postmedia News/MCT) #

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Sking Superpipe Men's Finals. Aspen/Snowmass Thursday, January 27, 2011 Kevin Rolland reacts after he captures gold in the skiing superpipe. Photo by AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post #

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Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox and Josh Reddick #16 celebrate the win over the New York Yankees on August 6, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 10-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) #

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Netherlands Robin Haase celebrates after winning his final match against Spain's Albert Montanes at the ATP-tournament in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. Haase won the match with 6-4, 4-6 and 6-1. (AP Photo/ Kerstin Joensson) #

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San Francisco Giants' Pablo Sandoval celebrates after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels during the ninth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in San Francisco. Sandoval had the sole Giant run of the game in a 2-1 defeat. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) #

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Spain's Alvaro Vazquez (R) celebrates his goal during the FIFA U-20 World Cup football tournament match against Australia held at Palo Grande stadium in Manizales, Colombia on August 6, 2011. RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images #

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New York Yankees' Brett Gardner (11) breaks his bat in frustration after striking out to end a baseball game with two men on base against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium in New York, Friday, July 29, 2011. Baltimore won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill) #

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From Kids, Larry Clark

The Matter with Kids Today: Kids and Raised by Wolves

By Eric Margolis, Humanity & Society, Volume 20, Number 2, May 1996

You have seen their faces. In the core of every American city young kids wander the streets getting stoned, spare changing, fighting, scratching, and hanging out. They wear tribal badges: tattoos, camo clothes and skin heads,skateboards and phat pants

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An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish boy runs next to bonfires during Lag Ba’Omer celebrations to commemorate the end of a plague said to have decimated Jews in Roman times in Bnei Brak, Israel, Saturday, May 21, 2011.

A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home after a tornado hit Joplin, Mo. on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses.

Smoke plumes rise from the Grimsvotn volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier, about 120 miles east of the capital, Rejkjavik, which began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights Sunday as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles into the air.

 May 27, 2011

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An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish boy runs next to bonfires during Lag Ba'Omer celebrations to commemorate the end of a plague said to have decimated Jews in Roman times in Bnei Brak, Israel, Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) #

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In this photo taken on Saturday, May 21, 2011, smoke plumes from the Grimsvotn volcano, which lies under the Vatnajokull glacier, about 120 miles, (200 kilometers) east of the capital, Rejkjavik, which began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. Iceland closed its main international airport and canceled domestic flights Sunday as a powerful volcanic eruption sent a plume of ash, smoke and steam 12 miles (20 kilometers) into the air. (AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) #

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A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home after a tornado hit Joplin, Mo. on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett) #

 May 27, 2011

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Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

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Lightning from a severe thunderstorm flashes in the distance beyond a crucifix in a cemetery near Easton, Kan. Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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Cadets from the 2011 graduating class of the U.S. Air Force Academy arrive to Falcon Stadium on May 25, 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A total of 1,021 graduates were to receive their diplomas in front of their families, dignitaries and the public at the annual event. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) #

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A rebel fighter walks in a old and abandoned Catholic Church used by Moammar Gadhafi forces as a military camp on the east front line, 25 km from Misrata, Libya, Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Predicting success in Libya, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that Moammar Gadhafi would ultimately be forced to step down if NATO keeps up its military campaign with the U.S. playing a key role. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron play table tennis at Globe Academy on May 24, 2011 in London, England. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his wife Michelle are in the UK for a two day State Visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II. During the trip they will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace and the President will address both houses of parliament at Westminster Hall. (Photo by Paul Hackett - WPA Pool/Getty Images) #

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A demonstrator shows his hands covered with blood of a fellow demonstrator as police officers try to remove them during clashes in Barcelona, Friday, May 27, 2011. Truncheon-wielding police in Barcelona have clashed with protesters at a makeshift camp that is one of dozens erected in Spain to protest high unemployment and other woes. Officers in riot gear were accompanying workers tasked with cleaning up the nearly two-week old camp at Plaza de Catalunya and police used force when protesters would not evacuate the camp temporarily as requested. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) #

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Burqa-clad Afghan women walk through a graveyard in the old section of Kabul on May 25, 2011. Despite massive injections of foreign aid since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan remains desperately poor with some of the lowest living standards in the world. AFP PHOTO / Punit PARANJPE #

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Beverly Winans hugs her daughter Debbie Surlin while salvaging items from Winans' devastated home in Joplin, Mo. Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Winans and her husband rode out the EF-5 tornado by hiding under a bed in the home. The tornado tore through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 123 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

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Storms clouds pass behind Buck Creek School near Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) #

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Florene Renfro, 85, breaks down as she goes through her damaged home Wednesday, May 25, 2011, in Joplin , Mo. Renfro was able to save herself by hiding in a tiny linen closet and holding on to the door handle as massive tornado severely damaged her house Sunday night. "He was knocking, but I wouldn't let him in," she said of the tornado. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #

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A neighborhood destroyed by a powerful tornado on Sunday is seen in Joplin, Mo. Tuesday, May 24, 2011. A tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 116 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

 May 27, 2011

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Jean Logan reacts as she sees the damage to her home in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011 after it was damaged by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of the town on Sunday afternoon. Logan and her granddaughter rode out the storm in the laundry room. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

 May 27, 2011

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Kashmiri villagers carry the body of Mohammed Imran Khan, a suspected militant of Jaish-e-Mohammed during his funeral procession in Keller some 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Srinagar, India, Friday, May 27, 2011. Thousands attended the funeral of two suspected rebels in Indian Kashmir Friday, a day after they were killed in a gunbattle with government forces in the restive region, according to police. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

 May 27, 2011

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A man wearing a mask painted with the flag of the old Libyan monarchy that has been adopted by the Libyan revolutionary movement attends a demonstration in support of the Libyan rebels and in protest against Sweden and their stance toward the EU near the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm on May 20, 2011. NATO said on May 20 its warplanes hit eight vessels of Moamer Kadhafi's navy, after US President Barack Obama predicted the veteran Libyan strongman would "inevitably" leave or be forced from power. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND #

 May 27, 2011

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A trio of local area rodeo queens ride in the backseat of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird during the Parade America on Saturday, May 21, 2011 in Nampa, Idaho. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield) #

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A massive tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it slammed into the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving a forest of splintered tree trunks behind where entire neighborhoods once stood.

Authorities warned that the death toll could climb as search and rescue workers continued their efforts. Their task was made more miserable as a new thunderstorm with strong winds, heavy rain pelted part of the city with quarter-sized hail.

City manager Mark Rohr announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the wreckage of a hospital that took a direct hit from Sunday’s storm. Rohr said the twister cut a path nearly 6 miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town. Much of the city’s south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins.

Jasper County emergency management director Keith Stammer said about 2,000 buildings were damaged, while Joplin fire chief Mitch Randles estimated the damage covered a quarter or more of the city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City. He said his home was among those destroyed. (AP)

Joplin Tornado

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Emergency workers wait for a medical team after finding a body in a tornado ravaged car in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Rescue workers in lime-green jackets search for bodies and survivors inside St. John's hospital in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. The hospital was damaged by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of the city on Sunday afternoon. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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A destroyed helicopter lies on its side in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging the hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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A shelf cloud containing a thunderstorm approaches a tornado-ravaged neighborhood in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital, hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Jean Logan reacts as she sees the damage to her home in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011 after it was damaged by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of the town on Sunday afternoon. Logan and her granddaughter rode out the storm in the laundry room. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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A man carries a young girl who was rescued after being trapped with her mother in their home after a tornado hit Joplin, Mo. on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett) #

Joplin Tornado

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A residential neighborhood in Joplin, Mo., is seen Monday, May 23, 2011 after it was leveled by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of the town on Sunday afternoon. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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A tractor trailer is tipped over on Interstate 44 near Joplin, Mo., after the town was hit by a tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Jaime Green) #

Joplin Tornado

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Don Atteberry, 89, crawls over a rail at his home that was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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A pickup truck with what looked like two rescue workers and two injured people weaves in and out of traffic to get to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, Mo. after the town was hit by a tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Jaime Green) #

Joplin Tornado

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Damage to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo. is shown after it was hit by a tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Jaime Green) #

Joplin Tornado

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The wall of a home in Joplin, Mo. is seen Monday, May 23, 2011, after it was damaged by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of the town on Sunday afternoon. The Joplin twister was one of 68 reported tornadoes across seven Midwest states over the weekend, stretching from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.(AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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A hand-written note to rescue workers is seen on a house that was damaged by a tornado that destroyed nearly 30 percent of Joplin, Mo., on Sunday afternoon. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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A cross stands atop a church that was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., as a severe storm passes overhead Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital, hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Damaged vehicles litter the parking lot of St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Mo, after a tornado hit the southwest Missouri city on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. A massive tornado blasted its way across southwestern Missouri on Sunday, flattening several blocks of homes and businesses in Joplin and leaving residents frantically scrambling through the wreckage. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett) #

Joplin Tornado

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Storm clouds dwarf a farm near Lamar, Mo. as the sun sets Sunday, May 22, 2011. The storm earlier produced a large tornado moved through much of Joplin, Mo., damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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An emergency vehicle drives through a severely damaged neighborhood in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Don Atteberry, 89, surveys damage at his home that was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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A man carries a young boy who was rescued after being trapped in his home after a tornado hit Joplin, Mo. on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett) #

Joplin Tornado

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The damaged St. John's Regional Medical Center is seen in the distance through tornado debris in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging the hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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An emergency worker searches a Walmart store that was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Emergency vehicles line up along northbound Rangeline Road in Joplin, Mo. after a tornado swept through the city in Joplin, Mo. on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer) #

Joplin Tornado

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A neighborhood in Joplin, Mo., is seen Monday, May 23, 2011, after it was leveled by a tornado that caused heavy damage on Sunday afternoon. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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An emergency worker carries a girl to safety from the remains of Academy Sports in Joplin, Mo. after a tornado struck the city on Sunday evening, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer) #

Joplin Tornado

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Volunteer firefighters William Jackson, left, and Ashley Martin, center, from Oklahoma, and Johnny Ward of Joplin look through the wreckage of a home where it was feared a pregnant woman as feared to be trapped following a tornado in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. The three did not find anyone during their search. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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Destroyed vehicles are piled on top of one another in the parking lot of the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging the hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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Rescuers and neighbors look through the the wreckage of destroyed homes on a hillside in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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News crews and homeowners sort through the rubble of a residential neighborhood Monday, May 23, 2011, in Joplin, Mo., after it was leveled by a tornado that caused heavy damage in the town on Sunday afternoon. The twister cut a six-mile path through the city. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Adam Wisneski) #

Joplin Tornado

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Residents of Joplin, Mo, help a woman who survived in her basement after a tornado hit the city on Sunday, May 22, 2011. The tornado tore a path a mile wide and four miles long destroying homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett) #

Joplin Tornado

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A large tornado moved through much of Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, May 22, 2011, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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A large tornado moved through much of Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, May 22, 2011, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses. (Mike Ransdell/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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Residents salvage items from their home which was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., as a severe storm passes overhead Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital, hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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An overturned car lies on the foundation of a home near St. John's Regional Medical Center on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town of Joplin yesterday killing at least 89 people. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images) #

Joplin Tornado

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A tree stripped of bark and leaves still stands near St. John's Regional Medical Center on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town of Joplin yesterday killing at least 89 people. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images) #

Joplin Tornado

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Destroyed homes and debris cover the ground as a second storm moves in on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town of Joplin yesterday killing at least 89 people. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images) #

Joplin Tornado

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Janet Martin attempts to salvage medication and mementos from her brother's home before a second storm moves in, on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Missouri. "Twenty minutes before the storm, he left to go to church. He would have been in that basement if he hadn't gone," Martin said. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town of Joplin yesterday killing at least 89 people. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images) #

Joplin Tornado

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Nurse Susan Dillard, in white, hands off medical records to fellow nurse Holly Ansley as they sift through the rubble of their employer, Access Home Health, in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A destructive tornado moved through the city on Sunday evening, killing at least 89 people and injuring hundreds more. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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A firefighter walks along a street as he conducts search and rescue operations in a neighborhood that was severely damaged by a tornado in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city Sunday, damaging a hospital and hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 89 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

Joplin Tornado

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Rescue workers walk through a neighborhood destroyed by a tornado Monday, May 23, 2011, in Joplin , Mo. A massive tornado that tore a six-mile path across southwestern Missouri killed at least 89 people as it smashed the city of Joplin, ripping into a hospital, crushing cars like soda cans and leaving behind only splintered tree trunks where entire neighborhoods once stood. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) #

Joplin Tornado

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Rescue specialists Gerry Koeneman, right, and Lonnie Stockdale of the Springfield, Mo., fire department walk through the heavily damaged lobby of the medical records building at the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A destructive tornado moved through the city on Sunday evening, killing at least 89 people and injuring hundreds more. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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Tom Cravens of the Pryor, Okla., Police Department looks through the rubble of a destroyed home near the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A destructive tornado moved through the city on Sunday evening, killing at least 89 people and injuring hundreds more. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) #

Joplin Tornado

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The remains of homes and St. John's Regional Medical Center, rear, the day after a tornado struck Joplin, Mo., May 23, 2011. The twister, which touched down Sunday evening, killed at least 90 people and spread its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings and cars and touching off fires. (Patrick Fallon/The New York Times) #

Joplin Tornado

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Sara Thomas, right, talks with a passerby in the aftermath of tornado that destroyed Joplin, Mo., May 23, 2011. The twister, which touched down Sunday evening, killed at least 90 people spreading its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings and cars and touching off fires. (Patrick Fallon/The New York Times) #

Joplin Tornado

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A podium sits idle following a press conference in the aftermath of a tornado that destroyed Joplin, Mo., May 23, 2011. The twister, which touched down Sunday evening, killed at least 90 people spreading its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings and cars and touching off fires. (Patrick Fallon/The New York Times) #

Joplin Tornado

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Tim Slocombe and his son, Eliajah, 16, raise an American flag on a tree the day after a tornado struck Joplin, Mo., May 23, 2011. The twister, which touched down Sunday evening, killed at least 90 people and spread its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings and cars and touching off fires. (Patrick Fallon/The New York Times) #

Joplin Tornado

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Tim Slocombe looks over debris for survivors, with St. John's Regional Medical Center in the distance, the day after a tornado struck Joplin, Mo., May 23, 2011. The twister, which touched down Sunday evening, killed at least 90 people and spread its destruction over a wide swath of the town, ripping apart buildings and cars and touching off fires. (Patrick Fallon/The New York Times) #

Joplin Tornado

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The neighborhood to the west of St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, is seen Monday, May 23, 2011, the day after it was hit by a tornado. (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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People retrieve their belongings in a home near the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, Monday, May 23, 2011, the day after it was hit by a tornado. (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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The neighborhood to the west of St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, is seen Monday, May 23, 2011, the day after it was hit by a tornado. (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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An exterior view of St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, is seen Monday, May 23, 2011, the day after it was hit by a tornado. (Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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During a severe weather alert which forced the medical volunteers and patients to the basement of Memorial Hall in Joplin, Missouri, Monday, May 23, 2011, certified nurses assistant Nancy Metzger, center, helped console Margaret Mosley, whose home was destroyed in the tornado Sunday evening in Joplin, Mo. Margaret's husband, William, at lower left, was treated with 17 stitches from the tornado. Memorial Hall was the site for triaging injuries from the tornado. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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While her Joplin, Missouri home was completely destroyed, Amy Jump, lower, her husband and three children all survived the tornado which devastated Joplin on Sunday evening. Here, Jump is emotional as she and her neighbors sift through the rubble Monday morning, May 23, 2011, looking for salvageable items and photos. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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Waiting for a severe thunderstorm to pass through Joplin, Missouri, on Monday morning, May 23,2011, William Mosley sat on the steps of Memorial Hall in Joplin as patient care associate Spencer Davidson held his IV bag as treatment for the injuries that Mosely suffered during the destruction of his home Sunday evening. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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Matt McReynolds worked on sawing large branches off of a fallen tree at the home of his co-worker, Dr. Jay Farr, of Carlson Chiropractic Center, Monday morning, May 23, 2011, in Joplin, Missouri, following the tornado Sunday evening which destroyed a massive part of Joplin. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

Joplin Tornado

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As day began to break and before another thunderstorm moved through the area, residents of the city of Joplin, Missouri, began to take stock of the damage and salvage a few items, Monday, May 23, 2011. (Shane Keyser/Kansas City Star/MCT) #

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