Gov. Jay Nixon today requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to extend the program that is helping to expedite removal of debris in Joplin after the devastating May 22 tornado.
More than 1.1 million cubic yards of debris have been removed under the Expedited Debris Removal Program, which is scheduled to end on Aug. 7. Under the program, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the cost of expedited debris removal in areas that received catastrophic or extensive damage; that federal cost share will be 75 percent after that date, unless an extension is granted. The Governor requested an extension of the program until Aug. 31.
"In the two months since this catastrophic tornado, we have made real progress in clearing more than a million cubic yards of debris," Gov. Nixon said. "This was possible only because of the cooperation and collaboration of partners from the state, federal and local level, and the hard work of the people of Joplin. This extension will ensure that we have the continued resources necessary to complete this extensive and vital project."
Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen from the Missouri National Guard have worked more than 25,000 hours to provide logistical support and coordination for the expedited debris removal project. Volunteers and faith-based groups have worked more than 249,000 hours on debris removal projects and on recovering personal possessions for tornado survivors.
"The progress that Joplin has made in just two months following one of the worst tornadoes in U.S. history is due to the outstanding spirit of its citizens and the truly inspiring coordinated efforts of volunteer groups, but more work remains to be done," Gov. Nixon said.
The federal debris removal program is administered by FEMA, with the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It addresses debris removal from properties within, or immediately adjacent to, areas of catastrophic or extensive damage.