Update 6:47 p.m., May 24:
From the NBC News "HOT" file:
Per Sean Hadley - NBC producer in Joplin, MO:
National Weather Service's Bill Davis said that the Joplin tornado is the 8th deadliest tornado they have on record, giving it an E-5 rating. Joplin City Manager, Mark Rohr, says the death count has increased to 126 dead.
Update 6:06 p.m., May 23:
The death toll stands at 116, larger now than either the Flint, Michigan or Worcester, Massachusetts tornadoes of 1953. The Joplin tornado is now the deadliest in 64 years, after the April 9, 1947 twister in Woodward, Oklahoma, which killed 181.
Update 1:38 p.m., May 23:
The death toll in Missouri has risen to "at least 90," equaling that of the 1953 Worcester tornado. Officials are worrying that the number will rise, according to msnbc.com's main story on the Joplin tornado.
Stokes Young posts: As I write, our main story on the Joplin, Missouri tornado reports that the death toll is at 89, but could grow larger than the 1953 Worcester, Massachusetts tornado:
As the toll currently stands, the Joplin storm is the deadliest single tornado since the Worcester, Mass., tornado of June 9, 1953, which killed 90 people. If Joplin's toll increases further, it would surpass Worcester and start approaching the toll from a deadly storm that hit the previous day in 1953, when 115 died in Flint, Mich.
This prompted us to do a bit of research about that previous storm, the Worcester, Massachusetts tornado of 1953. The Wikipedia page on the Flint-Worcester tornado outbreak sequence details the massive weather system that devastated Flint, Michigan and Worcester, Massachusetts.
The town of Worcester has a slideshow of images from the tornado.
And, in the aftermath of that horrible storm, a young senator named John F. Kennedy toured the devastated town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts:
Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, center, accompanied by Dick Mayer, 15, and Melissa Tyler, 14, inspects tornado damage in Shrewsbury, Mass., on June 10, 1953.
Meanwhile, on YouTube, this video is described as "Kathy Lundstrom's father, Henry Ekberg took this rare color film before and after the Worcester tornado tore up the Burncoat area of Worcester,MA in 1953:"