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A destroyed building the morning after the Joplin tornado Image by Austin Robertson/KTTS News
(AP) - Although Joplin officials chose not to require safe rooms in homes after a tornado ripped through the town in 2011, most residents who are rebuilding are requesting the added protection.
Construction company officials say one of the first things people ask is whether a home will have a basement or a safe room.
The May 22, 2011 tornado that killed 161 people also damaged or destroyed about 7,500 homes or apartments.
The Joplin City Council chose not to require the safe rooms because it feared people would move away rather than absorb the additional cost of reconstruction.
The Joplin Globe reports city building permits show that more than 5,000 of the 7,500 ruined living units are under permit or have been repaired.
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