Powersports of Joplin escapes major damage from May 22 tornado (update)

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Updated on May 25, 2011:

Powersports of Joplin sustained only minor damage from the May 22 twister that destroyed much of the city of Joplin, Mo.

The dealership, which is situated off the interstate, is only a short distance from St. John's Medical Center, which took a direct hit from the EF5 tornado Sunday evening.

The Top 100 dealership re-opened at 8 a.m.May 24 in limited capacity. Eric Slagle reported on the dealership's Facebook page that the employees are fine and that power, telephone and Internet services are either non-operational or sporadic.

The dealership's annual Spring Ride, scheduled for June 5, has been cancelled so that the dealership and its employees can focus on providing needed services to the community, according to Slagle.

The dealership has decided to fly its signature oversized U.S. flag at half-mast in recognition of the more than 100 lives lost in the twister that cut a wide swath of destruction Sunday evening in Joplin.

The store earlier this week secured more than 100 power generators and is making its facility -- especially its large parking lot -- available for emergency services personnel and clean-up crews.  "Honda is stepping up to help. 120 generators will be here in the morning. Also, officials who need units for search and rescue: we are working with Honda to get you help," Slagle posted on the dealership's Facebook page.

By Wednesday, Slagle had announced that American Suzuki had made four ATVs available for use by local emergency services personnel.

Posted by Mary Slepicka