Joplin Globe reporter on covering tornado aftermath: ‘I have an awful job to do’

The aftermath of a tornado in Joplin, Mo., that has left 116 people dead is being chronicled by local and national media, including NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who spoke on Monday evening's "Nightly News" with local Joplin Globe reporter Jeff Lehr.

Staffers for the Globe, owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., are "working through the losses they've suffered to put out a newspaper, to keep the website current," Williams said before asking Lehr live on the air how his newsroom was doing. The reporter responded:

"The newsroom is, on the one hand, devastated. We have seven or eight employees of the newsroom who have lost their home or lost most of their home and many of their possessions. But we, on the other hand, are very grateful, because there was a period yesterday when -- after the storm had hit -- for about a five-, six-hour period, where there was a question of whether two of our newsroom employees had even managed to survive. And we got good word late last night on both of those and that's what's important. You can always get things and homes back, but you can't get a life back."

Lehr wrote a first-person account of surviving the storm. As he wandered around outside his roofless apartment, surveying the damage, he happened upon an older couple.

"I tell them I’m one of the many who have lost their homes," he wrote, "I ask if they can take me to the newspaper. I have an awful job to do."

View the segment:

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