Travis Zimpfer

St. Louis (KMOX) – In the last few weeks, sheer destruction has been a regular feature on TV screens and web sites. The heaps of rubble, split 2×4’s and piles of bricks are now common on local news broadcasts, as are the faces of the victims, portraits of greif, anguish and suffering. Some of them have lost everything, including their homes, their cars, and maybe even their loved ones.

The numbers haven’t changed in a while either, and they’re staggering. 141 dead, nearly a thousand injured, and about 2,500 homes and businesses completely destroyed with another 10,000 damaged.

But there’s another constant detail to this story, too: support continues to come in for the people of Joplin, Missouri.

Today, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) said she was pleased that Washington would be paying for a vast majority of the damages.

“The federal government has agreed that unlike most instances where they provide 75 percent of the resources and the community and state has decided to provide 90 percent of the qualified funding for recovery,” she said.

Although her counterpart, Sen. Roy Blunt (R), and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) have called for the Feds to reimburse all of the damages, McCaskill said that getting that much money was rare.

“In fact, it’s unusual for the federal gov’t to get to 90 [percent],” she said. “So, it has to be an extreme situation for them to get [there]. But we’ll keep advocating to get as many resources as we can possibly get from the federal coffers.” McCaskill added, that she believes she, Blunt, Nixon and Rep. Billy Long of the 7th District which includes Joplin, are “a very good team, trying to be helpful to the people of that part of the state, and we’ll continue to do that for as long as it takes.”

And it may take a long time. Eqecat Inc., a catastrophe risk modeling firm, estimated the damage caused by the tornado could cost $3 billion.

But some Missouri sports teams have already begun stepping up to the plate to help assist recovery.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals organizations have pledged to raise money for recovery efforts. When the two major league teams start their series on June 17th at Busch Stadium, Nixon will be on hand to for the event called “Teams United for Joplin” and outline various projects for recovery.

And right after the tornado struck, the Springfield Cardinals, a Double-A squad for St. Louis, donated $25,000 to Convoy for Hope, a nonprofit organization that has will assist with disaster relief in Joplin.

“It is times like these that we need to come together as a community,” Matt Gifford, Vice President and General Manager of the Springfield Cardinals said at the time. “These are our friends and our neighbors.”

The St. Louis Rams also donated $25,000 to recovery efforts and a handful of players, including QB Sam Bradford and LB James Laurinatis visited families whose homes had been destroyed.

Kansas City Chiefs star QB Matt Cassel, WR Jonathan Baldwin and other players have personally helped out with the relief efforts, and the team also collected water bottles, receiving donations from as far away as Australia.

But superstars aren’t the only ones who have been helping out.

The United Way of Greater St. Louis announced last week that 12,000 people had volunteered to clear debris, get food and clothing to victims and reunite pets with their owners as a part of their “United for Joplin” campaign.

RELATED: Volunteers Continue Recovery Efforts in Joplin

But even with all of this assistance, McCaskill did not believe this funding was an ending to the tragedy which has moved so many to donate and volunteer.

“The clean up is massive,” she said. “It’s gonna take a while.”

Copyright KMOX News


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