A lot has happened in the two years since the tornado struck Joplin and Duquesne. The City of Joplin's Public Information Officer, Lynn Onstot, provided the media with an extensive fact sheet of statistics and costs since that recovery. That information in its entirety is below.
Joplin, Missouri hit by EF-5 Tornado on May 22, 2011
May 22, 2013
- Joplin population approximately 50,175 (2010 Census)
- Daytime population approximately 240,000
- Located in Southwest Missouri between I-44 and I-49 (formerly U.S. Highway 71)
- EF-5 Tornado was ½ mile to ¾ mile wide, traveled approximately 13 miles
- Tornado touched down at edge of western city limits, traveled on the ground throughout all of City to eastern city limits and continuing into the City of Duquesne and rural Jasper and Newton Counties
- Tornado winds estimated at 200 mph + ; NWS indicates it moved as slowly at 10 mph in some places
- Storm affected homes and businesses in both Jasper and Newton Counties in Missouri
- 161 lives lost due to tornado
Recovery Efforts & Statistics:
- June 2012: According to the Work Investment Board of SW MO, the unemployment rate was 6.9%. In June, 2011, it was 8.9%
- July, 2012: City Council approves predevelopment agreement with Wallace Bajjali, a development firm from Sugarland, Texas to serve as the master developer in recovery efforts.
- October, 2012: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formally presents the City of Joplin $45 million in Community Development Block Grant funding. City's proposed budget for these funds includes more than $31 million for housing; and $6.5 million for infrastructure needs within the disaster area.
- December 2012: Joplin City Council approves plan to form a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district that includes 19 major projects over 3,000 acres within Joplin including the disaster area. Each project will follow standard process of development, allowing public to comment prior to Council's consideration.
- March 27, 2013: HUD announced an additional $113 million has been allocated to the City of Joplin to help the community recover. This grant was part of $514 million allocated among nine states nationwide and provided through HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to support long-term disaster recovery efforts in areas with the greatest extent of ‘unmet need.'
- As of April 26, 2013: Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has completed 61 houses following the tornado. In addition, other affordable housing projects continue with new homes completed weekly. According to The Joplin Globe, 4-25-13 edition, 90 units have been constructed, and 198 are pending completion.
- Mercy Hospital Joplin working on new medical center and offices at 50th Street and Hearnes Boulevard. The hospital and temporary offices will cost nearly $1 billion by the time the new medical center is completed in 2015.
- Joplin Schools - Goals: To return students to permanent facilities by August 2014
December 2013 (tentative date) New Irving Elementary School, East Middle School and Soaring Heights Elementary School opens
August 2014 (tentative date:) New Joplin High School / Franklin Technology Center opens
Joplin Recovery – Building Permits:
88% of dwellings damaged have been permitted.
(4107 + 1,105 + 1,383 = 6,595 / 7,500 = 87.9%)
Building Permits of Total residential repairs & rebuilds + Residential New Builds + # of multi-family bldng's living units /7,500 homes damaged or destroyed
History of Building Permits
- On June 20, 2011, City Council passed a building hiatus in the EDR area to allow for a safe operation of debris removal that required large trucks to move through the area efficiently.
- Prior to completion of debris removal, on July 28, 2011 City announced Building Permits available for entire storm-damaged area (rolled out two areas prior to entire area being opened for building: West of Picher Ave opened July 8, 2011; West of Main Street opened July 22, 2011)
Joplin Recovery – Temporary Housing:
- As of May 6, 2013 - 574 households (98%) have moved out of FEMA temporary housing and into longer ¬term or permanent housing.
Volunteers, through April 30, 2013:
- 176,869 volunteers, including those registered through AmeriCorps and from other organizations who have reported hours to them.
- Over ONE MILLION hours of service from all reporting organizations/agencies with a total of 1,146,083 hours. This equals nearly 110 years' worth of service at a 24/7 pace since 5/22/11.
- Volunteer Information Line – for those interested in volunteering: 417-623-0065
Residential Structures Damaged in Tornado:
- Total of 7,500 residential dwellings in the City were damaged or destroyed by storm
- More than 17,000 people affected by tornado
- Of the 7,500 dwellings, approximately 4,000 homes were destroyed , causing an estimated 9,200 people to be displaced
- Tornado generated nearly 3 million cubic yards of residential debris throughout the disaster area
- FEMA managed the Expedited Debris Removal initiative (EDR) that addressed debris removal in areas of extensive and catastrophic damage. This initiative allowed government-funded contractors to remove loose tornado debris from private property within a designated tornado-damaged area, and offered 90% federal match to a 10 % local and state match for costs incurred. Missouri Gov. Nixon announced state would pick up the 10% match.
- FEMA mission-assigned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to execute the debris removal for the City. The Missouri National Guard proved state oversight to the process.
- EDR area was cleared by August 7.City worked toward this deadline to ensure a quick and efficient cleanup of the disaster.
- Many property owners used insurance proceeds to hire contractors for debris removal; and/or utilized the 100,000 + volunteers who have been active in the cleanup of the City.
- City rolled out Demolition Plan with 3 options for property owners on, August 8:
- Do It Yourself – if owner has insurance
- Skilled volunteers affiliated with the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) carry out the demolition of residential structures and/or foundations on behalf of home or property owners. This work continues today.
- Dangerous, tornado-damaged structures and/or foundations that are not removed another way will be processed through the dangerous structures provision of the Joplin City Code, starting with the Building Board of Appeals process.
- By 5-23-2011 Joplin and Jasper County Health Dept. medical services staff worked with local health partners to administer tetanus vaccines to residents and workers in the debris area to provide protection from this disease often associated with debris injuries. The plan included stationary and roving vaccine distribution locations moving throughout tornado affected neighborhoods.
- On 5-24-2011 tetanus vaccinations began and in following weeks over 17,000 tetanus vaccinations were administered by many medical partners in community.
- 14 area health departments along with other local medical partners aided the local tetanus administration effort including over 125 staff.
Animal Control statistics:
- 1,308 pets displaced by tornado picked up and taken to emergency pet shelter by animal control staff
- 529 pets returned to owners from emergency pet shelter operated by ASPCA & Joplin Humane Society
- ASPCA placed remaining tornado displaced animals at end of emergency sheltering operation in new homes through an "Adopt-a-thon" and other placement activities.
- Pet "co-location" shelter with human American Red Cross shelter opened by Joplin Animal Control within few hours of tornado.
- Within hours of the tornado, Joplin Animal Control and Joplin Humane Society opened temporary pet triage clinic to provide emergency medical care for animals transported to the emergency pet shelter.
- Within 24 hours, Humane Society of Missouri was on scene working with Joplin Animal Control for planning animal rescue operations. Within 2 days these operations began.
- ASPCA arrived the day after the storm to handle the emergency pet sheltering operation, working with the Joplin Humane Society.
FEMA Assistance (as of May 15, 2013 unless otherwise noted):
Information represents Jasper and Newton counties as a whole, including cities of Joplin and Duquesne.
- More than 13 federal agencies supported critical emergency needs and functions for Jasper and Newton counties. At peak staffing, more than 820 FEMA employees worked the Joplin response and recovery efforts.
- FEMA and state officials immediately established four joint task forces to manage the largest recovery priorities – Housing, Debris Removal, Schools and Critical Infrastructure. These task forces included numerous other local, state and federal agencies – all with the goal of bringing an experienced, comprehensive approach to recovery in these key areas.
Individuals and Businesses:
10,746 Missourians in Jasper and Newton counties registered for state and federal disaster assistance.
- More than $21 million in grants has been approved for eligible Missourians in the two counties to help pay for home repairs, temporary housing and other critical disaster-related needs through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program.
- FEMA continues to provide direct, temporary housing to 12 households occupying temporary housing units, among five sites throughout the metro Joplin area. At the peak of this effort, 586 households were assisted at 15 sites.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance was provided to help workers whose employment was impacted by the tornado but who did not qualify for regular unemployment aid. In the two counties, 541 claims totaling $353,943 were paid.
- A grant of more than $5.3 million from the FEMA Disaster Case Management Program was awarded to the Missouri Department of Economic Development to fund disaster case managers to work directly with survivors. The case managers, from agencies such as Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Lutheran Social Services, also have been assisting with developing individual disaster recovery plans that may include referrals, monitoring of services and advocacy, as needed.
- FEMA has provided more than $4.8 million to help fund crisis counseling services through community-based outreach and short-term interventions. The services help disaster survivors review their recovery options, discuss their reactions and learn coping strategies.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than $43.4 million in low-interest disaster loans for 521 tornado-impacted individuals, businesses and not-for-profits. SBA provides these loans to help cover property losses. In addition, SBA provides economic injury loans (working capital) for eligible businesses.
- 417 low-interest disaster loans to homeowners for $26.8 million
- 100 low-interest disaster loans to businesses for $16.4 million
- low-interest disaster loans to not-for-profits for $256,400
- FEMA recovery specialists helped the Joplin community establish a citizen-based, long-term recovery effort known as the Joplin Area Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART). With input from a broad cross-section of the community, CART developed a long-term recovery strategy, the implementation of which is underway.
- FEMA continues to work with a local Long-Term Recovery Committee, representing more than 50 voluntary agencies. To date, the committee has handled more than 1,500 cases of unmet, disaster-related needs.
- FEMA provides grants to local, state and federal governmental entities, tribal nations and certain not-for-profit organizations to help reimburse eligible costs to remove debris, provide emergency protective measures and to repair or replace damaged public infrastructure and facilities.
- FEMA expects to spend nearly $150 million* in both counties to help remove debris, provide emergency protective measures and to permanently repair or replace public buildings and infrastructure damaged or destroyed by the tornado. About $20 million of this amount will help fund eligible recovery costs for the City of Joplin; about $2.5 million for the City of Duquesne. So far, about $97.5 million has been paid to the State of Missouri for disbursement to 25 eligible entities, including local governments, school districts and critical facilities such as hospitals.
* Funding subject to change based eligibility review process and potential insurance proceeds. Does not include costs for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Debris Removal operations.
- FEMA provided more than $341,000 to the Corporation for National and Community Service for assistance from AmeriCorps to support local and state authorities. About 350 AmeriCorps members from seven states worked more than 76,000 hours in Joplin on various recovery projects, including 2,723 homeowner assistance requests, coordinating donations, removing volumes of debris, including damaged trees and stumps, building a recreational train at FEMA's community housing sites, planting more than 900 new, donated trees for homeowners and helping more than 150 Joplin homeowners and renters in moving from temporary living situations to more permanent housing. AmeriCorps' efforts, which lasted 18 months, also helped Joplin earn an offset towards the cost-share of some of its local recovery costs.
- Federal, state and local officials teamed up with The Independent Living Center in Joplin and other disability organizations to serve as a resource for individuals with disabilities, access and other functional needs -ensuring that people with disabilities, seniors and those with low English proficiency had the same opportunity as others to access and understand disaster assistance.
City Property Receiving Damage:
- Emergency Management Emergency Sirens
- Fire Two Fire Stations - No. 2 & No. 4 completely destroyed
Construction started on permanent facilities to be completed in early 2014.
Fire Station #2 will be located at 2825 West Junge Boulevard
Fire Station #4 at 3402 South Hearnes Boulevard
- Fire Fire Apparatus
Permanent replacement vehicles in place
- Parks Senior Citizens Center
- Parks Cunningham Aquatic Center & Park
- Parks Parr Hill Park
- Parks Garvin Park
- Parks Mohaska Park
- Parks Ewert Park
- Police South Police Branch (minor damage)
- Public Works MAPS Trolley shelters (multiple)
- Public Works Curb, streets and Sidewalk, lights, Signs and Signals
- Public Works Building structure located at 20th & Connecticut
- Information Systems CISCO Aironet blown off
Information from Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, as of April 1, 2013
- 553 businesses destroyed or severely damaged
- 4,500-5,000 employees affected
- Approximately 3,000 were kept on payroll in some capacity
- 500 businesses have reopened or are in the process of reopening
- 30 businesses have indicated that they will not rebuild/reopen
- Approximately 100 new businesses have opened*
*This count does NOT include contractors/builders that have set up local offices since tornado
Cost of Disaster: Losses as of October 31, 2012:
Provided by Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions, and Professional Registration
Line of Business Claims Received Claims Expected Losses Paid Losses Incurred
Commercial Property 2,142 2,159 $986,829,440 $1,320,220,325
Residential Property 8,647 8,784 $535,724,886 $554,388,779
Commercial Auto 309 309 $4,377,076 $4,783,049
Private Auto 6,982 7,117 $47,898,047 $51,084,766
Other Commercial 313 315 $15,031,287 $19,210,900
Total 18,393 18,683 $1,589,860,736 $1,949,687,819
County Mutuals 1,477 1,516 $61,789,887 $67,876,781
Total 19,870 20,199 $1,651,650,623 $2,017,564,600