JOPLIN, Mo. —
There was a time after the furor of the May 22 tornado when Joplin had to count it’s misfortune:
161 dead; 7,500 houses smashed; 850 businesses lost; $2.8 billion in losses.
But, no more.
Today, barely a year after the historic storm, residents are instead counting their blessings and the achievements made, with the help of generous souls nationwide, toward recovery.
— 68 percent of those houses and apartments are repaired or rebuilt with more on the mend everyday.
— 85 percent of those affected businesses reopened or relocated and 25 new businesses that have come to share Joplin’s future.
— About half of the families who had to take refuge in trailers provided by FEMA as temporary housing returned to more permanent homes.
And, there’s more on the way.
— Community Development Block Grant funds of $45 million that will go toward housing and other projects.
— More than 100,000 volunteers who have come to work and more on the way.
— Corporate sponsorships for home building projects that Rebuild Joplin will announce soon and described as “major” by co-founder Jerrod Hogan.
— Up to $1 billion worth of projects that a master developer, the Wallace-Bajjali Development Firm of Sugarland, Texas, says it can put on the table for consideration if the city inks a deal with the firm.
Joplin is not merely rebuilding, says City Manager Mark Rohr. Joplin is rebuilding better.