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'We're all survivors' say Joplin residents

Amid the death and destruction caused by the massive tornado that pummeled Joplin, Mo., there are incredible tales of survival. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports from Joplin.

By Kevin Tibbles, NBC News Correspondent

Joplin, Mo. – At times, the rain has been coming down in sheets here. But for a moment Tuesday morning there was a blustery, blue sky.

All it did was give the beaten up residents of Joplin a chance to assess what has been done to their little city.

The gym at Missouri Southern State University is filled with folks who've, quite likely, lost everything. Many don't even have shoes. I listened to a man this morning try to explain he couldn't eat because his dentures had blown out of his mouth.

There is also trauma here. Both mental and physical. The teaching wing of the university's medical facility is now filled with real patients. Doctors, nurses and clinicians from several states are now working long hours to help out.

After all, the big St. John's hospital is now a skeletal mess. It took a direct hit. A group of women, all seriously hurt and all bedridden could be forgiven for being a little disheartened; after all, they've lost everything.

Instead they joked with our NBC News camera crew. "We should have our own reality show!" one said. "Yes!" said another. "We're all survivors"

Reeling Missouri city braces for a possible second punch