We at CSW are trying to get more details- but a major tornado has struck Joplin MO about 6 p.m. Sunday evening.
An assignment editor on the desk at KODE-TV told us that there's "major- major damage throughout the city" of Joplin and that there were "possible fatalities."
The lady (whose name I failed to write down- sorry) said significant damage was evident "along Rangeline-" a major Joplin street and that their TV station was "off the air" because of the storm.
As of 9 p.m.- unofficial reports from Joplin indicate that there have been "at least 20 fatalities."
Live video on The Weather Channel shows large homes destroyed- and in one of their camera shots showed a large hospital- St. John's Regional Medical Center- that had also been hit.
There was a fire just outside St. John's- and during the 7 p.m. live shot- the reporter and cameraperson was moving away "because of a fear of an explosion at the hospital.
The explosion threat at St. John's has ended- but the hospital has been closed and is is the process of transferring what patients they could to another medical facility in the city of around 35000."
The TV crew was also attempting to help a neighborhood resident find a neighbor believed trapped in the rubble of the neighbor's large home that was litterally flattened by the tornado.
The Weather Channel has a live feed from Joplin found at the link HERE (thanx Superdave!).
Here's a link to an early story on this disaster from The JOPLIN GLOBE.
I-44 was closed- don't know it it has been re-opened as of this 9:15 p.m. update- just southwest of Joplin at the Oklahoma border- due to "numerous" vehicles overturned on the highway.
I'll have additional information- photos and videos on the Joplin tornado on this post as soon as they become available.