The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 27, 2013

Missouri National Guard pulls out last soldier assigned to help area after 2011 tornado

Guard at one time had 377 men, women assigned to area

JOPLIN, Mo. — Another of those milestones on the road to recovery passed quietly this month, when the Missouri National Guard pulled the last soldier it still had working in the area as a result of the 2011 tornado.

Guardsmen became involved in Joplin and Duquesne the night of May 22, 2011, said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Sloan, noting that the guard’s own armory in Joplin sustained roof damage that night. At its peak, the guard had 377 of its members helping out in Joplin and Duquesne.

Initially, guardsmen worked search and rescue, directed traffic and set up a mobile medical unit. Sloan said that as those tasks were completed, the guard’s role changed.

“Really, in the last year or more, it has been about the Disaster Recovery Jobs Program,” he said.

Jasen Jones, head of the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri, said a $19 million federal grant helped put 1,400 people to work on cleanup crews in Joplin and Duquesne. Missouri National Guardsmen were chosen to supervise the work.

“The guard had a big role in the initial response,” Jones said. “When it came time for this program to roll out, the guard was certainly on the governor’s mind.”

Jones noted that the Workforce Investment Board had no experience in handling some of the situations that arose because of the storm, including what to with drugs and guns that were found in the rubble, as well as human remains.

“Our organization encountered things it had not dealt with before,” he said.

Guardsmen had leadership experience, training on handling heavy equipment and even knew how to set up portable toilets for work crews, he said.

“They really helped us in a number of different ways,” Jones said.

The last of those guardsmen-led crews continued working in Duquesne through December, with the last lone guardsman staying into January to wrap up the program.

Duquesne Mayor Denny White said he was amazed at the work guardsmen completed with their crews.

“Without them and the (Workforce Investment Board) personnel, we wouldn’t have rebuilt Duquesne the way we have,” he said. “They were the cement in the mix. ... They kept everything running. ... We are very grateful for them out in Duquesne. As mayor, I thought, ‘Boy, I don’t know what we would do without these people.’”

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor for The Joplin Globe.

Elsewhere in Missouri

Besides working in Joplin and Duquesne after the tornado, the Missouri National Guard in 2011 also activated members to respond to flooding in the Missouri Bootheel and later in Northwest Missouri.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter