Joplin victims offered existing homes instead of FEMA trailers

By: AP
By: AP

JOPLIN, Mo. -- Some of the people left temporarily homeless by the Joplin tornado could be placed in housing nearly an hour's drive from town.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency told The Associated Press on Monday that its first option for housing the thousands of displaced is to find them existing rental housing. FEMA is looking at available housing within a 55-mile radius because there isn't much housing left in Joplin. Almost a quarter of the town of nearly 50,000 residents was badly damaged by the May 22 tornado.

If enough existing housing isn't available, FEMA will consider bringing in trailers, as it did for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

For now, many people are staying with family or friends, or are living in shelters or hotels.

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