News-Leader, May 23, 2011

St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin started a full evacuation after the hospital was directly hit by a tornado Sunday afternoon, said Cora Scott, spokeswoman for St. John's Health System in Springfield. "We are not sure of the safety of the building," Scott said. St. John's officials also asked people stay away from the area. Damage to the building is extensive, as its windows were blown out and its roof was taken off, Scott said. About 100 patients from Joplin will be accommodated in St. John's facilities in Springfield and surrounding area. Some were being taken to Freeman Health System in Joplin, while others will be flown to Springfield and a hospital in Arkansas. The Joplin Globe reported online on Sunday night that emergency personnel were evacuating people near the medical center because of dangers posed by a broken gas main. The Globe reported buildings directly north and west of the hospital have been leveled.

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