From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for May 11, 1973:
Three deaths and at least 90 injuries had been reported so far as the result of a strong storm system that had moved through Joplin, Missouri, early today. Emergency crews were reporting that no section of Joplin had appeared to have escaped damage, with downed trees blocking streets or resting on vehicles or buildings. Broken glass and debris choked the streets, telephone service was disrupted, and electric power was scarce this morning in the Missouri town. Other towns in southwest Missouri as well as southeast Kansas had suffered damages from the storm, which had struck Joplin at 7 a.m., minutes after the city's tornado warning sirens had sounded. Robert Metzinger, Joplin city manager, said that it was not yet determined whether the damage was from a tornado or from high winds. An aerial inspection was scheduled for later today to try to determine the exact nature of the storm. Joplin had been struck just over two years earlier by a tornado (May 5, 1971) which had killed one person, injured 60, and caused about $7 million in property damage.