One month ago today, stunned residents of Joplin were beginning to comprehend the totality of the tornado that had ground up a big part of the city the night before. The tornado left an estimated three million cubic yards of wreckage that had once been homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other structures. State and federal agencies have been joined by thousands of volunteers in clearing the debris so rebuilding can begin.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s John Mills says two agencies have pumped more than 20-million dollars into Joplin relief. FEMA has provided more than $13.6 million dollars in grants to homeowners and renters. The Small Business Administration has approved seven million dollars in low interest loans
Spokesman John Fields with the Corps of Engineers say work crews have removed about twenty percent of the estimated three-million cubic yards of debris. And he says the pace is increasing.. He says crews are “ramping up” to clear 30-50 private properties a day.
Fields says some small areas in the massive debris field are cleared. He describes the area as a “patchwork” of cleared areas amidst piles of debris stretching for six miles.