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Photo Gallery: 4/20 At Civic Center Park

Joplin, Missouri

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Residents drive through the streets on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Mo. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images)

Residents drive through the streets on May 23, 2011 in Joplin, Mo. A powerful tornado ripped through the densely populated town. (Photo by Julie Denesha/Getty Images)

Joplin, Missouri, is a great small town.

 With a population of close to 50,000 people, it’s big enough to offer shopping, movies and festivals but small enough where it seems everyone knows each other.

I’m fond of Joplin because it’s the city where I got my break in television.

I was struggling as a news producer applying every place I could to be a general assignment reporter, and it was KODE-TV that called and gave me my start.

I will forever be grateful.

Seeing what the city and its people have been through the past 24 hours – and what they still have to go through – is heartbreaking.

So far, 120 people have died from the monstrous tornado’s that ripped through Sunday.

The city will never be the same …. my thoughts and prayers are with them.

Additional Resources

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for its disaster relief efforts following the deadly Joplin, Mo., tornado. Visit coloradoredcross.org for information on how you can help, or to give $10 text the word REDCROSS to 90999.

Get complete coverage on the tornado at CBSStLouis.com.

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