Joplin Residents Talk Debris Removal

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JOPLIN - More than 2,000Joplin residents crowded Taylor Auditorium on the Missouri Southern State University campus Monday night to learn how to clear the debris from the thousands of affected buildings.

Local, state, and federal officials were on hand to provide answers to individual questions and discuss different types of debris so authorities could collect it. The six categories for debris are electronics, big appliances, household hazardous waste, vegatative debris, construction debris, and small motorized equipment.

Residents are also to fill out right-to-entry forms by Wed. June 15 to grant the government permission to enter homes. After the deadline, it becomes the responsibility of property owners to dispose of the debris.

But not every resident left the meeting with answers. Bill and Linda Erwin lived in their home for 10 years before the tornado took their pride and joy.

"We spent two months every summer working on the house to make it just the way we wanted," Bill Erwin said as he touched the stone walls he built.

The Erwin's may have to pay out of pocket for demolishing their home because they have more than one outer wall in tact. The couple has insurance on the home but may not qualify for government assistance in demolition. 

"People have to realize debris removal is a long process," said Joplin public information officer, Lynn Onstot.

For the Erwin's, moving on is hard to do before the walls come down.