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Federal government to pay for 90 percent of expedited debris removal in Joplin


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Federal government to pay for 90 percent of expedited debris removal in Joplin

2011-06-01 08:50:41 GMT+7 (ICT)

JOPLIN, MISSOURI (BNO NEWS) -- Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Tuesday announced that the federal government will pay for 90 percent of the cost of expedited debris removal in parts of the Joplin area that received catastrophic or extensive damage from the devastating tornado.

Nixon made the announcement at the National Guard Armory in Joplin and said he received word on late Monday evening that the state application for the federal funding for the expedited debris removal had been approved by President Barack Obama.

"As I have said from the start, we will rebuild Joplin," Nixon said. "That is why I ordered the Missouri National Guard to lead the process of removing debris as soon as possible and to work with families and business owners to facilitate debris removal from their property. I have met personally with Brig. Gen. John McMahon, commander of the Northwest Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Col. Ward; and other leaders of Task Force Phoenix to discuss their mission and the importance of clearing this debris so that we can move forward with rebuilding Joplin as quickly as possible."

The federal funding will help with the expedited removal of millions of cubic yards of debris from the location of homes, businesses and other buildings in Joplin. Nixon has ordered the Missouri National Guard to serve as the state's point agency on the debris removal process. Maj. General Stephen L. Danner, Adjutant General of Missouri, has assigned Col. Ward to lead Task Force Phoenix in that effort.

"The Missouri National Guard has been working non-stop to respond to this disaster from the first day, and this 90 percent federal funding will be of great assistance as we work through the challenge of removing a vast amount of debris and rebuilding this community," the Governor said.

The federal debris removal program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the assistance of the Corps of Engineers. It addresses debris removal in communities within, or immediately adjacent to, areas of catastrophic or extensive damage. Before debris removal teams can go onto private property, property owners will have to give their permission. FEMA will determine the degree of destruction by using a combination of mapping and information from local, state and federal officials who have surveyed the damage first-hand.

As of Tuesday, a total of 123 individuals in Joplin have been confirmed as deceased by Missouri state officials. Ten people remain unaccounted for, and hundreds are still recovering in hospitals.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-06-01

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