Joplin tornado victims pick up the pieces

POSTED: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 7:27am

UPDATED: Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 7:46pm

Another round of severe weather and tornados in the Midwest has claimed at least 14 more lives in three states... Meanwhile, residents of Joplin, Missouri pick up the pieces after the deadliest single tornado in six decades. One-hundred-twenty-five people are now confirmed dead in Joplin.

But as NBC News Correspondent Jay Gray reports... they  are still carrying hope as search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors. The landscape resembling a battlefield.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says "it was almost like walking on hallowed ground of battlefield". Images shot from the air show a path of destruction 6 miles long, and in some places 3/4 of mile wide.

There's a sense of hopelessness-- but also stories of heroes emerge from the devastation. 

Don Lansaw threw himself on top of his wife shielding her from the debris.  Bethany Lansaw struggled to talk about her highschool sweetheart and husband of years. She describes the terriblem moment, "he got on top of me to take the brunt of most of it, and you know he's my hero ".  Don didn't make it-- he had a severe puncture wound in his back.

Stories like Bethany's shared by families of atleast 125 victims in Joplin.


--Reported by Jay Gray NBC News.

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