In this July 21, 2011 photo, workers survey a cleared lot in Joplin, Mo, nearly two months after a tornado hit the the city on May 22, destroying a large swath of the community and killing 159 people. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) By Charlie Riedel
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The federal government has frozen future aid to tornado-ravaged Joplin and other disaster sites as it focuses on immediate help for victims of Hurricane Irene.
Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Bob Josephson said Monday the agency focuses on immediate needs when its Disaster Relief Fund runs low.
He says individual aid to victims of the tornado that killed 160 people and damaged about 7,500 homes in Joplin will continue for things such as temporary housing. But help with long-term rebuilding projects is on hold.
Josephson says it'll be up to Congress to restore full funding to disaster areas including parts of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt say they are working to ensure that full funding is restored for Joplin.