A former western Iowa resident, now living in Joplin, Missouri, is asking people to pray for the victims of last Sunday’s tornado. The EF5 twister left a six mile path of destruction and has now claimed 132 lives.

Jeff Wehr, a former resident of Westphalia and a Harlan High School graduate, has been living in Joplin for four years. Wehr, his wife and three sons all survived the storm.

However, the family knew their middle son – Josh – was located in the path of the tornado. Wehr says they didn’t hear from him for five hours after the storm passed. “It turns out, he came across one of the buildings that was flattened and he saw two girls trying to crawl out from underneath it. So, he stopped and he drove them to the emergency room,” Wehr said. “He turned right around and went back. He was just shuttling people, as he found them, back and forth.”

Wehr’s entire family was eventually reunited on the north side of town, at their home, which was not damaged. The tornado ripped through the middle section of Joplin.

Wehr says if people are unable to help Joplin residents with cash donations, they can still help with their prayers. “To me, personally, that’s the most important thing are the prayers,” Wehr said. “I know so many people want to do things, but they don’t know what they can do. I just tell them, ‘pray for us.’ Pray for all of those victims who are going to be going through this for a long time.”

Officials announced this morning that 232 people remain unaccounted for five days after the deadliest tornado in the U.S. in 64 years.

 by Joel McCall, KNOD