JOPLIN, Mo. — The sun shone for the first time in days on this battered city Tuesday, lifting spirits even as rescue workers performed the grim task of searching for survivors and victims in buildings leveled by the United States’ deadliest tornado in more than 60 years. At least 117 people have died.
On Tuesday morning, as search teams with dogs took advantage of a break in windy, rainy weather to comb the wreckage that includes as many as 30 percent of Joplin’s buildings, the death toll is expected to rise.
“We are expecting some violent storms to develop across Kansas and Oklahoma today bringing rain, hail and the risk of tornadoes that could move into the Joplin area this evening,” said Doug Cramer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “This is a very good set up for very big tornadoes.”
The National Weather Service said the tornado that struck the city Sunday evening had reached wind speeds of up to 198 miles per hour, just below the 201-mile-an-hour wind speed level of the most powerful category of tornadoes.
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