Rebuilding since Joplin tornado tops $1 billion

FILE - This frame grab from video shows lightning inside a massive tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011, outside Joplin, Mo.  (AP Photo/tornadovideo.net)
FILE - This frame grab from video shows lightning inside a massive tornado on Sunday, May 22, 2011, outside Joplin, Mo. (AP Photo/tornadovideo.net)

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – Costs of rebuilding and repairs since the May 2011 tornado that hit Joplin and Duquesne have topped $1 billion.

The city of Joplin recorded just over $991 million in repairs and new construction since the tornado, with another $46 million for two school projects just outside city limits and an estimated $5 million in Duquesne.

The May 22, 2011 tornado did millions of dollars in damage and killed 161 people in Joplin and Duquesne, a village about just east of Joplin.

Joplin officials say the rebuilding signified that most people decided to stay, rather than leave the devastated area. The city of Joplin reported a population decline of only 4 to 4.5 percent from its pre-tornado census of 50,150.

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