JOPLIN, Mo.-- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is teaming up with FEMA to clear the miles and piles of debris.
Wednesday begins the major debris removal phase in Joplin, and officials want citizens and volunteers to separate debris as best they can along the curb in six different categories: hazardous waste; trees and other brush; appliances; electronics; furniture, carpet and other possessions; and garbage.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has crews walking the streets, helping sort what already lies near the street.
89 year old Don Atteberry is thankful much of his debris has moved that far. "Volunteers was all in my yard and the house, on the porch; you couldn't come out on the porch. They cleaned it all up for me," Atteberry says.
Now, Atteberry can at least sit on his porch, on the front of what's left of his home of fifty years.
"We remodeled everything in that house," Atteberry says.
Part of it is still standing, Don says thanks to the sturdy old construction, and his lovely wife. "We were married 57 years. She died three years ago, so she's watching over her family still," says Atteberry.
Atteberry actually had about a dozen of his family members over that afternoon, for Sunday dinner.
"They come over, they visit, I cook for them," says Atteberry.
Some had finished up and gone home. "They eat all they wanted, and then what's left, I'd send home with them," Atteberry says.
Then came the tornado sirens, but Don figured he'd seen it all. "Yeah, there's been five or six; I don't know. We've lost chimneys, we've lost roofing, blown some windows out in the back or stuff like that," Atteberry says.
But it was soon clear that this one came with terrible force. "When the windows started blowing out, not the windows, but the whole window sill," Atteberry says.