I've waited a few days to try to find them, but I still don't. Most of Joplin's funding from FEMA--that intended to fix roads and schools--is being redirected toward the East Coast. Oddly enough, that doesn't yank funding from the trailer park they're putting in across the road from our airport*. Yeah, that's right: a federal program is ignoring rebuilding things that are their responsibility in favor of building new things that aren't.
In all honesty, now that the debris removal is done, I'd far rather the funds went away totally. I do not appreciate the whole "But we have to have government assistance! We can't possibly do it by ourselves!" mentality.
In any case, what has me nearly speechless is the whole assumption that, since the hurricane hit the East Coast, there had to be more/worse damage than the tornado that hit Joplin. I will admit: Irene was much larger than the tornado, and the damage was a lot more widespread, but you can still recognize the areas that were hit. Take a look at the map here: most of the shaded area is not recognizable from the ground.
Joplin has been estimated to have somewhere around $3 billion worth of damage. I'll be surprised if all of the areas that Irene hit cost that much. Yet somehow, it's worse.
I guess the worst part of the whole thing is the unspoken assumption that since it's the East Coast that just took damage, it's somehow more important than all of the tornadoes that hit and destroyed areas in the Midwest this spring/early summer. Even if there was a lot less damage, and a lot fewer lives lost.
* Yeah, now that will be an attractive first impression. Why they couldn't have just taken over one of the trailer parks that have been shut down is beyond me.
42 minutes ago