- (Photo: Reuters / Eric Thayer)
Joplin, Mo., officials reported a higher death toll of 141 on Sunday. Three additional people passed away recently due to injuries sustained during last month's tornado.
"It is with deep regret that we make this report," the city said.
Just a few days ago on Thursday, the southwestern Missouri city had raised the death count from 134 to 138 after four more individuals died at hospitals as a result of tornado injuries.
Some 900 people were said to have been injured after an EF-5 tornado pummeled Joplin on May 22. It was the deadliest single twister in the United States in more than 60 years.
About a third of the city of 50,000 people was destroyed.
Despite the massive devastation, there has been no shortage of help from volunteers from across the country.
IgniteChurch.tv has been on the ground, helping families affected by the disaster and inspiring those who lost everything.
The Joplin church recently helped the Powells – a family of three girls, one boy and a single dad – contributing $2000 to help them get back on their feet, and paying the first two months of the father's car payment.
"That's what family's all about. You're not alone," IgniteChurch.tv volunteers told the emotional father.
The church building was not hit directly by the storm but has been serving as a temporary shelter, clinic and distribution center.
"I feel like we've aged 20 years in the last six seven days. The needs are so great ... but listen one thing remains the same – love ... and it's the love of a savior," said Pastor Heath Mooneyham, the week following the tornado.
As of Sunday, more than 55,165 hours have been worked by registered volunteers since the tornado, according to the city. On Friday, FEMA reported that 7,797 households – most of which suffered some form of home damage – have registered with their agency.