(From the city of Joplin)
The City of Joplin reminds citizens that search and rescue is continuing. Mayor Mike Woolston and City Manager Mark Rohr have continually stated the local commitment to continuing this effort until the last piece of debris is removed.
“We are heartened by the prospect of a late rescue such that has occurred in other disasters,” said Rohr. “This has been a significant disaster that has affected over 30% of our City. We are here for our residents, and this effort is a priority. Realistically, the chance of finding someone is diminishing with each passing day, but we will proceed with the hope of a miracle occurring.”
According to Mitch Randles, Fire Chief, the fifth sweep using volunteer groups is taking place today using the many volunteer search and rescue groups who have been of great assistance to Joplin. Dog teams are continuing as well. If these groups find anything specific, the Emergency Operations Team dispatches a response team to verify the findings. Firefighters and heavy equipment will be used to sort and remove debris as needed.
The sixth and final sweep of the entire City will begin as soon as the fifth sweep is completed.
With that in mind, the effort to rescue survivors continues as we move into debris management phase. The City has committed to having a spotter during the debris removal process in addition to the initial spotter that is a part of the contractors’ work. The spotter’s role is to watch all debris being removed as a final attempt in the rescue effort.
Residents should also know is that debris removal is a key area for their work. As residents begin removing debris, the City reminds residents to get their personal items gathered from their home areas. If they have settled with their homeowners insurance for personal items, they can be removed. If residents are still waiting for their insurance representative to view their damage, please begin to centralize your personal belongings in order to be able to remove them efficiently once they are able to do so.
For additional updates, citizens are encouraged to visit www.facebook.com/cityofjoplin.