Joplin’s City Manager says his community is beginning the process of rebuilding a third of the city following the May 22nd tornado.
Mark Rohr has told the Senate Committee on Disaster Recovery the tornado left about 17.3 million dollars in cost of recovery and a year’s lost revenue. He estimates 7500 homes were impacted, with about 4000 of those destroyed or uninhabitable. Some 500 businesses were also impacted.
Rohr says some commercial debris removal remains to be done and demolition work is about to begin on 1500 lots in the city. That number could go down, depending on how many owners of those properties plan to rebuild on them.
He told the Committee his community is starting the rebuilding process. That effort has been kicked off in part by the announcement that the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will be coming to Joplin in October. It’s producers aren’t saying how many homes will be built, but they call it a “significant” project.
When asked what he has learned from the experience of dealing with the disaster and its aftermath, Rohr suggested there could be more structure and organization in the ability to identify resources and mutual aid in the state. He also stressed the importance of communication and organization immediately in emergency response.