Missouri gets $16.5 million for Joplin and flooding cleanup jobs

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | 6:17 p.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — Missouri will receive $16.5 million to fund temporary jobs aimed at helping with recovery efforts from last year's fatal tornado in Joplin and flooding elsewhere in the state, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday.

The money is intended to pay for about 2,200 jobs that are needed to continue cleaning up after the devastating tornado and flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries from April through early June last year.

The grant, which goes to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, will bring the total amount given to the state in similar federal grants for last year's disasters to about $36 million.

"Missouri continues to need assistance with large-scale cleanup and recovery efforts after the Joplin tornado and other severe weather last spring," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a news release.

Joplin continues a massive recovery effort from the EF-5 tornado that hit the southwest Missouri city on May 22, 2011, claiming 161 lives and demolishing a huge portion of the city.

Large swaths of northwest Missouri also flooded last spring and summer after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing massive amounts of water from overflowing upstream reservoirs. Flooding also hit southeast Missouri along the Mississippi River at about the same time.

The Labor Department said the latest federal grant will go to the following Missouri counties: Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Madison, Miller, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Polk, Reynolds, St. Francois, St. Louis, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright.