The city of Joplin is off the hook for paying for the first couple of months of debris removal following a devastating tornado in May.
The federal government is paying 90 percent of the cost in the hard-hit area designated for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's enhanced cleanup payments, instead of the usual 75 percent. The state will be picking up the 10 percent not covered by FEMA under the expedited debris removal program that runs through next Sunday. Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon said two-thirds of the properties have been cleared so far.
St. Louis county homeowners or renters who were impacted by the April 22nd tornado or storms must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week to learn if they qualify for grant assistance.
The deadline to register with FEMA is Friday, July 29th.
Andrea Jackson-Jennings is the Director of Human Services for St. Louis County. She says, so far, FEMA has taken nearly 1500 registrations in St. Louis County and provided more than $971,000 in grants to individuals and families.
Updated at 5:16 p.m. with gallery of aerial photographs from msnbc.com.
Updated at 4:29 p.m. with information on multi-vortex designation from the National Weather Service.
The New York Times brings us this update this afternoon on the continuing situation in Joplin:
About 1,500 people are unaccounted for in this battered city, a Fire Department official said Tuesday, as rescue workers took advantage of a few hours of sunny weather to continue searching for survivors in buildings leveled by the country’s deadliest tornado in more than 60 years.
As of 1 p.m. today, The Missouri State Emergency Management Association, or SEMA, lists the death toll at 117 people, and that number could climb.
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in St. Louis to assess the damage from last week's tornadoes. Their findings will be part of Missouri's request for Federal assistance.
FEMA investigators are gathering data on a variety of factors-including the number of displaced people, effects on the local economy, and how much property was uninsured.
Josh DeBerg is a spokesperson for FEMA. He says the main criteria for federal aid boils down to a question of resources.