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Joplin, Missouri, Gets New Digital Home

Rebuilding efforts span physical and digital domains on anniversary of devastating tornado.

President Barack Obama was in Joplin, Mo., this week to mark the one-year anniversary of the tornado which boasts some unenviable distinctions – the deadliest tornado in 60 years and the costliest since at least 1950.

With total damage estimated at $2.8 billion, efforts to resurrect buildings and infrastructure will likely continue for several years. But volunteers lending a hand are taking many forms in Joplin. A major investment by government website developer CivicPlus is giving the city a brand new website.

A hackathon last month challenged several teams of programmers to come up with ideas to revamp the city’s online home. Once winners were selected, the redesign effort was completed within an abbreviated timeframe of just three weeks.

Michael Ashford, CivicPlus’ director of marketing and sales strategy, who managed the Joplin hackathon and subsequent website redesign explained to Government Technology that the site will continue to grow and evolve in the months ahead.

Visit Joplin’s new website here.

Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.