When the Corps of Engineers arrived in Joplin to lead the clean-up effort following the May 22 tornado, they knew that had a limited amount of time to accomplish the task. With over 30% of the city destroyed, the task of cleaning up seemed daunting, but the volunteers came out in droves. In May, August 7 was set as the deadline to have the 1.5 million cubic yards of debris cleared. Yesterday, local TV stations KSN and KODE toured Joplin from the air and shot some amazing footage (click the source below to watch the video). When yesterday’s video is compared to that of May 22, the difference is staggering. Colonel Daniel Patton is in charge of the Army Corps of Engineer office in Joplin, and he reports that the debris will be completely removed by tomorrow’s deadline. He gives all the credit to his crew, local contractors, and the thousands of volunteers who have flocked to Joplin to lend a hand. These crews have worked 12 hours per day, seven days per week since May 22. Now, 79 days later, the end is only 24 hours away.
Although debris removal will be completed sometime tomorrow, the Army Corps of Engineers will not leave Joplin. Their next task is to assist the rebuilding of local schools and the construction of temporary housing for those who lost their homes.
Now that the task of debris removal is complete, the rebuilding can become the focus of the city. Several of the local business, including Walmart, Walgreens, and Home Depot, have already began their rebuilding process and hope to reopen by the end of this year.
It amazes me how residents, local businesses, and volunteers from around the country have come together to rebuild the city of Joplin.