Business

Tornado misses Wichita companies' Joplin properties

A few Wichita companies with operations in Joplin, Mo., said their properties — and staff — are OK following a deadly tornado Sunday.

Jim Korroch said his company's employees and hotel in Joplin are fine.

Korroch's company, Wichita-based A.G. Holdings, operates a TownPlace Suites by Marriott in Joplin. He said the hotel is about a mile away from the devastation.

"The issue we have now is no running water to the hotel," Korroch said. "We feel very blessed."

Korroch said he plans to travel to Joplin as soon as he can to provide assistance to the hotel staff.

"We'll do what we can to help the people down there get their lives back to normal."

Wichita Technical Institute's Joplin campus wasn't hit, said Rod Moore, director of education for the company.

"We're on Range Line and the tornado was south about a mile and a half," he said. "We're just fortunate. All of our faculty and staff are safe. We haven't had a chance to account for the students, yet."

A spokeswoman for air ambulance operator EagleMed said the company's aircraft and on-duty crew were not hurt by the tornado. Shelia Rupp-Haag said the company's base in Joplin is at Freeman hospital.

She said EagleMed crews and aircraft in Wichita are being used to transport patients from the Joplin area, including to Wichita hospitals, but she did not know how many patients they have transported.

"We were immediately available as a resource to the Joplin community," Rupp-Haag said.

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