Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 28, 2012

Trailers used by tornado victims given new purpose

JOPLIN, Mo. - Trailers that sheltered victims of last year's tornado will soon help families made homeless by wildfires on the North Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending seven mobile homes to Lame Deer and Ashland, Mont., to help some of the 19 families who lost their homes. Only three of those families had insurance, said Lafe Haufen, executive director of the North Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority.

Fires that broke out July 2 burned more than 200,000 acres, or about half the reservation, said Haufen. The reservation is home to about 6,000 people.

The trailers arrived in Joplin after an EF-5 tornado hit the city May 22, 2011, killing 158 people. Will Fiorini, a FEMA housing supervisor, said nearly 400 families have moved out of temporary housing since the tornado, but more than 130 remain. He said the agency intends to find homes for all of them by November, when housing assistance to Joplin is scheduled to end.

Trailers no longer needed in Joplin are cleaned and stored. Those not claimed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs will be auctioned, Fiorini said.

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Details for this story were provided by the Joplin, Mo., Globe.

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