Joplin Updates and Debris Removal

A family’s cat is pulled from the rubble after surviving for 16 days.

The city of Joplin has begun the process of recovering from the May 22 tornado that destroyed approximately 1/3 of the city.  Debris removal has begun, and the volunteers are still coming out in droves to help the residents clean-up.  Sadly, the death toll has risen to 151 as several injured have passed away in area hospitals since May 22.  I continue to pray for the citizens of Joplin, and I am confident the city will recover because of its strong will and determination.

There have been many questions about debris cleanup in Joplin and this article was printed in the Carthage Press to answer several common questions.



Ozarks Red Cross
United Way
The Salvation Army
Rebuild Joplin

Joplin Tornado Information

Joplin Tornado Recovery

Individual Volunteer: 417-625-3543
Group/Organization Volunteer: 314-623-9991
Donation Information: 417-625-3542


The City of Joplin, in working with FEMA, has rolled out an evolution of information, making a concentrated effort to get area residents accurate up-to-date information regarding the debris management process during the disaster recovery following the May 22 tornado.

On Monday, nearly 2,000 residents attended a City Town Hall meeting designed to provide information about temporary housing and expedited debris removal.

The City recently received approval for temporary housing to proceed, and the community should expect to see temporary housing units coming into Joplin and the area in the next 10 to 12 days.

Debris management was a large focus of the meeting, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers has reported that as of Sunday, 300 hauling units are actively working through Joplin removing debris from the curbside. Since Sunday, 61,000 cubic yards of debris has been disposed of and it is anticipated that 400 to 450 hauling units will be in service during the debris removal. Because of the number of large trucks within the community, the City urges citizens to be cautious.

“As we’ve said in the past, everyone should be aware of this extra traffic and should be very careful as they move through and around Joplin,” said City Manager Mark Rohr.

After the Town Hall meeting, Rohr and other City staff members visited with audience members and heard various questions. Rohr convened City staff on Tuesday morning to obtain the answers. Below is a listing of some of initial questions and their answers. Other questions are more detail-focused, and as we continue working with FEMA about the specific items, we will provide that information to the public. Citizens are encouraged to review the ABC’s of Tornado Debris Removal, handed out at the meeting. It is also available at the nine of Right of Entry distribution locations and the City’s website.

If citizens have other questions, they should contact the Tornado Assistance Information Line at 417-627-2900. Volunteers will be available to address their questions or provide a referral to other agencies as needed. City officials will continue to provide regular debris removal updates in the coming days and weeks.

For additional updates, citizens are encouraged to visit

Questions & Answers  – Debris management  during tornado recovery

Q. Are insurance settlements subject to capital gains?
A. The City recommends that citizens visit with their personal financial consultant about this topic.

Q. Will you publicize the landfill costs?
A. Because these rates vary due to types of items, debris, etc., for the various companies, it would not be appropriate for the City of Joplin to publicize this information. Please contact the individual landfills for their specific information. The list is at the bottom of this message.

Q. Will the City of Joplin pick up debris in the alley?
A.  Yes, debris located in the alley is considered public access areas and will be picked up during the curbside debris pick up.

Q. What is the duration of time the manufactured homes will be utilized?
A. FEMA’s temporary housing program (rental assistance or use of temporary housing units) is authorized for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration. For DR-1980-MO, which includes the Joplin Tornado of May 22, the declaration was May 9; housing program will end on or before (i.e. no longer a need) November 7, 2012.

Q. I live in the periphery of the affected area. Will you explain the process for debris removal of my area?
A. Debris removal from curbsides, public rights-of-way and other public property such as parks, public facilities, etc. is currently being done through local, state and federal government-funded operations.  Residents living in the tornado affected area may take their debris to the curbside for this service.

Some items have to be disposed of in a special way, so do your best to separate the debris you’re taking to the curbside into different piles for a more efficient pickup. The following six categories for separating debris are recommended:
§  Vegetative – limbs, branches, plants and other brush.
§  White Goods – refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, water heaters, dishwashers, air conditioners, furnaces, etc.
§  Electronics – microwaves, computers, printers, phones, DVDs, televisions, etc.
§  Household Hazardous Waste – (partial or full containers) of automotive oil, paints, household cleaning supplies, pesticides, compressed gas cylinders like propane, aerosol cans, etc.  If the containers are empty, they can be thrown away with construction debris.
§  Construction Debris – windows, doors, broken wall studs, furniture, carpeting, clothes, toys, other personal property.
§  Small, Motorized Equipment – Lawnmowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, blowers, weed eaters, etc.

Q. Where can I find a structural engineer to confirm the insurance company’s structural report on my house?
A. The City of Joplin’s Finance Department on the 3rd floor of City Hall) keeps a list of structural engineers licensed by the City of Joplin. The public is welcome to utilize this list as a reference as needed.

Q. I have gathered my debris and am ready to dispose of it. What are the locations that can I take debris?
A. Lamar/ Prairie View Regional Waste Facility Contact: 417-682-2379
GT Management LLC Temp Site  Contact 417-623-9333
WCA/Oak Grove Landfill  Contact 417-623-6620 or 417-623-0076


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