Hurricane Irene has hit Joplin. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is suspending some payments to rebuild tornado ravaged areas of Joplin and in southern states because it needs to use its limited funds to respond to damage from Irene. 

Irene is the tenth billion-dollar disaster this year in the United States. FEMA says its bank account is below $1 billion.

Disaster after disaster this year has sucked the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget almost dry.

FEMA Director Craig Fugate says FEMA says it is suspending some recovery payments to Joplin for long-term projects so it has money to respond to more immediate needs on the east coast after Irene, but says funding will continue for short-term programs, such as housing for tornado victims. Fugate stresses that recovery funding already promised to victims will not be pulled out from under them.