Amy Womack and her daughter, Alexis Nelson, sit on the front steps of her parents' house in Cleveland, Tenn., in late April. Womack says her father urged her and 13 relatives and friends into the basement before a tornado hit; she credits him with saving their lives. Wade Payne/AP hide caption

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Debbie Surlin salvages items from her parent's home in Joplin, Mo. The tornado that struck Joplin on Sunday killed at least 125 people. Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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Actor Jessica Alba, accompanied by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), reacts when a buzzer calling for a vote goes off during a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday about chemical regulation. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Residents of Joplin, Mo. salvage items from their home on Monday, a day after a devastating tornado struck the town. University of Oklahoma meteorologist Howie Bluestein says this could be be the last major tornado of the season, or "it could continue to be crazy." Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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A cross stood atop a church that was severely damaged by a tornado Sunday in Joplin, Mo., as a severe storm passed overhead earlier today (May 23, 2011). Charlie Riedel/AP hide caption

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The National Guard constructed a 2-mile temporary levee around the ALON USA refinery in Krotz Springs, La., and a neighborhood on the south side of town. Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

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Geologists drop an acoustic transponder into the Pacific Ocean to measure movements on the seafloor. Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard hide caption

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