The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

October 9, 2012

FEMA extends temporary housing for those displaced by tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. — With a Nov. 9 deadline looming for residents to leave FEMA’s temporary housing, Tuesday’s extension of that deadline to June 9 of next year was the news that Carla Simpson had been hoping to hear.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “It gives me more time to find a job and a place to live. I was really getting worried about where I was going to go.”

Simpson, who has lived in a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer south of the Joplin Regional Airport since August of last year, had a job doing debris removal in Joplin, but it ended in late July. She is doing job searches now and filling out rental applications, but she cannot afford to move without first having a job.

“That’s why I’m so glad we got the extension,” she said. She lost her home near Joplin High School in the May 22, 2011, tornado.

Rebecca Sherman, her husband and their four children had lived at 20th Street and Moffet Avenue before the tornado. They, too, have lived in temporary housing since August of last year.

“This extension is a good thing for us because we have been looking for a place to rent, but the rent has been too high,” she said. “Our income is too low. We’re the last trailer in our area. I just hope we’re not the last ones out here.”

FEMA has approved the city’s request to extend the deadline for those displaced by the tornado an additional seven months, to June 9, 2013, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

There are 166 families living in the FEMA temporary housing. The number had reached 586 families after the tornado; 420 families have found houses or apartments in which to live.

The Joplin City Council approved making the request in an 8-1 vote last month. Councilman Bill Scearce voted against asking for the extension.

City Planner Troy Bolander made the case to the City Council, saying the extension request was based on city projections that enough affordable housing would be built by June to accommodate those who have not yet been able to find permanent housing.

He said caseworkers indicated that 99 more families would be able to relocate soon, but that 67 other families need affordable housing that is now being built.

“It just goes to how cooperation between local, state and federal agencies has to be done,” Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean said by phone on Tuesday. She said that despite the housing that has been built, Joplin housing is not where it was before the tornado.

“We realize there are still people who have no place to go,” she said. “This just gives them a little extra time.”

FEMA has the authority, beginning next month, to begin charging families rent based on income, the mayor said.

City Manager Mark Rohr welcomed the news in a statement he emailed to the Globe.

“I was pleased with their decision to grant the extension,” Rohr said. “It is a practical matter, as we have individuals that still need assistance.”

The request had the support of McCaskill and Gov. Jay Nixon. McCaskill, in a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, urged the agency to extend its contract to provide temporary housing with the city.

“These resources are another important step in ensuring the Joplin community has the tools they need to rebuild,” McCaskill said in the news release. “I continue to be amazed by this community’s resiliency and I’m determined to keep fighting to ensure they have the resources necessary to rebuild their homes and businesses and build an even stronger Joplin.”



Federal assistance

THE TOTAL AMOUNT of federal resources that have been provided for tornado recovery in Joplin exceeds $250 million, according to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
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    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 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

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

  • Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion

    The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.

    January 31, 2014

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