KY3 WEATHER VAULT: See images of the devastation of the May 2011 Joplin tornado, city’s recovery too

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 1:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2022 at 4:28 PM CDT
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JOPLIN, Mo. (KY3) - A devastating EF5 tornado tore through Joplin, Mo. on May 22, 2011, killing 161 and injuring more than 1,100 others.

The damage totaled $3 billion. The storm stretched for 22 miles, staying on the ground for 38 minutes. It impacted one-third of the city. Experts say the tornado was a rarely-seen monster with winds in excess of 200 mph.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fewer than one percent of all tornadoes are rated EF5, and even fewer of those strike populated areas.


The storm destroyed Joplin High School. It took several years to reopen a new high school. Check out the devastation below.


The city’s recovery continues to this day. Businesses lost returned. Homebuilders stayed busy, adding new neighborhoods in the city. See the town’s recovery after the storm below.

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