Walmart, Home Depot each pledge $1 million for Joplin tornado relief

New York — Walmart and The Home Depot have each pledged $1 million to help rebuilding efforts in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo.

Each of the retailers had a store in Joplin that was leveled in the storm. Both stores had fatalities inside them.

In a statement, Walmart said it has accounted for all of its associates working at the store at that time, but still is reaching out to all of its employees in the area. It also is working to direct truckloads of water, food and other basic items to Joplin.

Home Depot said its foundation will be in Joplin this week to assess the long-term needs of the community and to figure out how best to partner to help in the rebuilding efforts. It also said it would rebuild its Joplin store on the current site.

"The devastation in Joplin in indescribable and we will be there to help this community get back on its feet," Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said. "As we learned through our work in the Gulf after similar destruction from Katrina, the rebuilding will take years, and we are committed to Joplin for the long haul."

Steve Holmes, a Home Depot spokesman, confirmed that one employee died in the store during the storm, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But he said the company was leaving it up to local authorities to release the number of customers who died in the store.

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