JOPLIN, Mo. -- Nine years ago Friday, a devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 161 people and injuring more than 1,100 others.
The EF-5 tornado swept through Joplin and caused nearly $3 billion dollars worth of damage. It was on the ground for 22 miles and 38 minutes, tearing through nearly one-third of the town.
Experts say the tornado was a rarely-seen monster with winds in excess of 200 mph. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fewer than 1 percent of all tornadoes are rated EF5, and even fewer of those strike populated areas.
Tornado research has surged since the massive twister in 2011. Engineers, meteorologists and social scientists have published hundreds of peer-reviewed studies about tornadoes in recent years.
The Joplin storm is still very vivid in the minds of residents in southwest Missouri as one of the deadliest and costliest tornadoes in American history.
Below are links to some of KY3's coverage in years following the tornado: