JOPLIN, Mo. — Looking down 17th Street at Indiana in Joplin is the definition of controlled chaos.
Heavy cranes claw away at tornado damage left on what used to be residents' lawns. The outline for Joplin's recovery is a work in progress. The first step, sort then remove the tornado damage. With that clearly underway the city has a chance to breath and begin discussions about rebuilding. Discussions that will grow to include residents.
"This is a big rip to the fabric of the community," Joplin's Economic Developer, Rob O'Brian said. "A lot of (what was lost) was neighborhoods and we don't want to lose that neighborhood feeling."
One decision the city has already made is not issuing building permits for the core of the damaged area. The city wants all the tornado damage cleared first. Then, in early August, the city will decide where the rebuilding process will begin.
"It's not just a matter of saying we don't want people to rebuild," O'Brian said, "we have these big trucks going in and out of neighborhoods."