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New schools to open in Joplin, Missouri, after tornado

| Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

KANSAS CITY — Three new schools will open in Joplin, Mo., this week, the latest step in the town's recovery from a devastating 2011 tornado that killed 161 people and destroyed 8,000 buildings.

The tornado that hit Joplin on May 22, 2011, was the single deadliest in the United States since records were started in 1950, according to federal agencies that track storm impacts.

“Milestones are important in the road to recovery, and this certainly is a big one for us,” said C.J. Huff, superintendent of Joplin schools.

About 1,450 students, who have been attending classes in temporary buildings since the storm, will move to two new elementary schools — Irving Elementary and Soaring Heights Elementary — as well as to East Middle School, Huff said. The openings were due on Monday, but Joplin schools will be closed because of cold weather.

Joplin's new high school will open next fall to replace the school demolished in the tornado.

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