May 23, 2011, 158 killed
The town of Joplin, Mo., sat squarely in the path of a massive tornado on May 23. Once done, the twister had crushed three square miles of residential area with winds exceeding 200 mph, killing at least 117 and flattening about 1,000 houses, along with restaurants, stores of all sizes and even a school and hospital. In a town where having a basement isn’t a given, getting to cover quickly proved difficult for some. Plus, the baseball-sized hail and downpour of rain immediately following the tornado hampered immediate rescue efforts.