The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

February 12, 2013

Rebuild Joplin celebrates completion of 60th home

JOPLIN, Mo. — David Durall said he wondered how many people his new house would hold if he wanted to have a party.

He got a good idea of the number on Tuesday when scores of people crowded into his home at 2501 S. Annie Baxter Ave. for another celebration — to mark the completion of his home to replace the one destroyed in the May 2011 tornado.

Volunteers and others involved with Rebuild Joplin took shelter in the new house to get out of a cold rain, but then the showers stopped long enough for brief a ribbon-cutting ceremony and comments from Durall and Rebuild Joplin officials.

Durall thanked the volunteers who worked on his house, saying they have become “special friends to me.”

He said he huddled in a stairwell during the tornado and twice thought he was going to be sucked out of the building by the high winds that demolished his home.

Durall, who has lived in a small studio apartment until his house could be completed, said the neighborhood where he had lived 45 years “looks a whole lot different than it did.”

“But it’s good to be home,” he said.

Jerrod Hogan, director of Rebuild Joplin, said the organization continues to work to replace homes lost in the storm.

“We celebrate getting one family home, but there are hundreds who still need help,” he said. “One of the things we want to do today is spread the word that there is more that needs to be done.”

Hogan credited the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri and the local United Way for providing funding for the house, plus volunteer labor by “hundreds of volunteers including Mennonite Disaster Services.”

More than 80 volunteers worked on the project, putting in 1,374 hours that would translate to $29,929 in value if the workers had been paid, he said.

Rebuild Joplin was formed after the tornado to build safe and affordable housing for residents whose homes were destroyed. The not-for-profit organization rebuilds homes affordably and quickly by using both paid employees and volunteers including war veterans, AmeriCorps members, and skilled and nonskilled community members.

By the numbers

REBUILD JOPLIN has rebuilt 60 homes and currently has 12 homes under construction.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

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    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

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    April 21, 2014

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    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

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