While you may have had Memorial Day off from work, there was no day off in Joplin. The effort of cleaning up and identifying the dead continued right on through the holiday weekend.
The number of people unaccounted from the May 22nd tornado is now at 29. Andrea Spillars with the Missouri Department of Public Safety says it is down from a list of 1,300 who were unaccounted for last week.
The work to find those listed as missing or unaccounted for is a 24-hour process. “Thanks to the members of the state highway patrol working around the clock that number is now 29,” says Spillars during a Monday news conference.
There are different numbers on the death toll from the tornado. Some media reports put the number of dead at more than 130. Spillars says the Missouri Department of Public Safety has confirmed a total of 113 people as deceased and notified next of kin. She says the process of identifying the victims continues. “The number of human remains is 146. Those are human remains at the temporary morgue. Those include some partial remains,” says Spillars.
As the recovery effort entered its second week, there are thousands of volunteers in Joplin to help. Memorial Day found Vietnam Vet Michael Stanek volunteering. “This is going to be a slow process and there is going to be a lot of stuff that is going to take forever I would say. So, I’d say anytime anybody wants to volunteer there will be plenty of work out here to do,” says Stanek.