KCUR News
9:27 am
Tue May 24, 2011

Recovery Efforts Begin in Joplin, Mo.

Joplin, Mo. – The city of Joplin is trying to recover from Sunday night's tornado that killed at least 116 people. The recovery has been slow but methodical. KCUR's Dan Verbeck is there.

So many hundreds of homes over more than a hundred square blocks were damaged or destroyed. And it ripped apart families.

Fire rescue teams from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have been searching for victims since shortly after the F-4 twister struck. The effort has never let up.

Tiffany Osborne's family came from Calena, Kansas, looking for her and her baby. Both had hidden in a basement. The 23-year-old mother took 7-month-old daughter Tatum Lynn to a mattress: "I had her (her daughter) laying on the bed. And I was just holding her. Leaned over, leaned over her. And it sounded like everything was about to fall in on top of us. I was just preparing for that.

The family lost everything except some baby clothes. And they're glad for their lives.

An assistant city manager can't guess how long it will take to restore power and gas service to the entire city.