You are here:HomeIssuesNatural Disaster2011Death Toll From Joplin Tornado Continues to Rise

Death Toll From Joplin Tornado Continues to Rise

Government data indicates that the current tornado season is the deadliest since 1950, the result of over 50 tornadoes in the South and Midwest, including...
June 1, 2011

Government data indicates that the current tornado season is the deadliest since 1950, the result of over 50 tornadoes in the South and Midwest, including deaths from the May 22 twister that devastated Joplin, Missouri.

Over the last 60 years, only a 1953 tornado in Flint, Michigan killed as many as the confirmed death toll in Joplin. Despite the near record fatalities, meteorologists said that the storm system that generated the tornado was not unusual for this time of year. The latest estimates are that the death toll in the Joplin tornado has risen to 139 and may climb as searching continues for those still listed as missing or unaccounted for. The Joplin twister was ultimately classified as an EF-5, the highest classification, with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Eqecat, a disaster modeling company, estimates that the tornado could cost insurers between $1 billion and $3 billion.

"We have seven members in Joplin including our president, Scott Brothers," said Larry Case, executive vice president of the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents, a PIA affiliate. "Scott's agency was not damaged and is operating with their onsite backup generator. Of the other six agencies, three are intact, one has all windows blown out and most of the roof missing so is not habitable, and the other two agencies are gone."

"As far as we know, no agency employees lost their life, but several did have their homes destroyed and some lost friends or relatives," Case said. "Clearly, the damage is devastating and the impact will be long lasting. Many difficult challenges are ahead for this community."

Six years ago, PIA agents were at ground zero of another massive natural catastrophe, Hurricane Katrina. "Thank God there appears to be no loss of life for those immediately concerned," said Richie Clements of Chalmette, Louisiana, PIA National board member and co-chair of the PIA National Natural Catastrophe Working Group, of the Joplin tornado. "To me that is first and foremost."

See the effects of the Joplin tornado: Death Toll From Joplin Tornado At Least 139 (FOX News 5/29/11)

Filed under: