Heather Noble wrote -
JOPLIN, Mo. -- The city manager says the confirmed death toll from a tornado that struck the city on Sunday has risen to 116. The tornado tore a six-mile-long, half-mile wide path through the middle of Joplin on Sunday. Much of the city's south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins by winds of up to 165 mph. Officials estimate 2,000 buildings were damaged.
The National Weather Service says the tornado that swept through Joplin packed winds up to 198 mph. The weather service's director, Jack Hayes, says the storm was given a preliminary label as an EF4 - the second-highest rating given to twisters. The rating is assigned to storms based on the damage they cause.
Hayes said the storm had winds of 190 to 198 miles per hour. At times, the storm was three-quarters of a mile wide. He says survey teams from the National Weather Service are on the scene and will make a final determination on the rating on Tuesday.
A tornado outbreak last month killed more than 300 people across the South. At least three of those storms were rated EF5 --KY3