Top Officials Visit Joplin
JOPLIN - Governor Nixon, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate toured the disaster zone Tuesday, calling for more federal help.
The trio took a helicopter trip across the land to survey the damage from above. McCaskill walked McClelland Boulevard outside of the St. John's Regional Medical Center. She carried a camera at her hip, and said she was in awe at the power of nature.
National and local media interviewed Governor Nixon shortly after he spoke with President Obama on the phone.
President Obama announced Tuesday that he will visit Joplin on Sunday to tour the damaged area. He declared Joplin a federal disaster area.
By declaring parts of Newton and Jasper Counties as federal disaster areas, federal money and resources can begin heading to the area.
According to a projection by Eqecat Inc, the damage will cost Missouri between $1 billion and $3 billion dollars. The storm that hit Tuscaloosa is expected to cost between $75 million and $100 million, according to that city's mayor.
Top state officials said Joplin will need prolonged federal assistance.
"It'll take weeks, months, maybe years before this place is back to where it was before: a thriving community. We are in this for the long haul, we are committed to providing the resources and support it takes to rebuild Joplin," said Gov. Nixon.
McCaskill echoed Nixon's comment and said she will make sure federal disaster crews remain in Joplin as long as necessary.
"We wanna make sure this assistance is sustained for months to come, not just right now when people are frankly still recovering from the shock of what has occurred here," said McCaskill.
Nixon signed an executive order designed to allow physicians from outside Missouri to treat patients. The order will also permit pharmacists to provide medication for people whose medical records are missing.