Missouri governor says 17 rescued from tornado debris


JOPLIN, Mo. - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says authorities have found another 10 people alive in the wreckage left by a tornado that killed 117, bringing the number of rescued survivors to 17.

But Nixon says he fears the number killed by the storm that slammed into the southwest Missouri city of Joplin on Sunday evening will grow higher as search and rescue efforts continue.

Nixon told The Associated Press on Monday night he doesn't even want to guess how high the death toll will eventually climb, but he says: "Clearly, it's on its way up."

The tornado tore a six-mile-long, half-mile wide path through the middle of Joplin. Much of the city's south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins by winds close to 200 mph.

Until this week, the single deadliest tornado on record with the National Weather Service in the past six decades was a twister that killed 116 people in Flint, Mich., in 1953.

More deaths have resulted from outbreaks of multiple tornadoes.

In April, a pack of twisters roared across six Southern states, killing more than 300 people, more than two-thirds of them in Alabama. April 27 was the single deadliest day for tornadoes since 1950.

Reporter Jeremy Brilliant is reporting from Joplin Tuesday. Watch his reports at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 pm, and follow him on Twitter.