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Joplin, Mo., tornado, May 2011

Aftermath of the Joplin tornado, near the meeting place of the 26th and Connecticut Church of Christ. (PHOTO BY ERIK TRYGGESTAD)

WHAT HAPPENED: A mile-wide tornado tore through Joplin on a Sunday afternoon, killing 161 people and causing $2.8 billion in damage. Two members of the 26th and Connecticut Church of Christ died. (See our coverage of the tornado.)

WHAT HELPED: “Our volunteers and donors are what kept us energized to work 14- to 16-hour days in 100-plus degrees,” said Dale Hoggatt, a deacon of 26th and Connecticut. Some workers had to go out “blindly” to find people to help, but “I think some people had richer experiences — and really got to see Joplin’s spirit — when they offered the help to strangers.” 
The church kept its minister, Richard Chambers, at the building as a familiar face for volunteers and those seeking aid.
>> NEXT: Hurricane Katrina, August 2005 >>

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