Crews preparing to begin removing debris in Joplin

Deputy Eddy Mathews of the Mayes County, Okla., Sheriff's Department hands off a dog to volunteer Mike Hughey of Ozark, Mo., after rescuers found a pair of dogs in the rubble of a destroyed home near the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A destructive tornado moved through the city on Sunday evening, killing at least 89 people and injuring hundreds more.

Deputy Eddy Mathews of the Mayes County, Okla., Sheriff's Department hands off a dog to volunteer Mike Hughey of Ozark, Mo., after rescuers found a pair of dogs in the rubble of a destroyed home near the St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Monday, May 23, 2011. A destructive tornado moved through the city on Sunday evening, killing at least 89 people and injuring hundreds more. Photo by The Associated Press.

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Crews are preparing to begin the long process of removing debris from tornado-ravaged Joplin later this week.

City Administrator Mark Rohr says the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will oversee the process of getting rid of debris from an estimated 8,000 damaged and destroyed homes and apartments, plus several hundred commercial buildings.

An exact date for the removal to begin has not been set. Rohr has not said where the millions of tons of rubble will go.

Meanwhile, the number of people unaccounted for after the Joplin tornado is down to 29.

Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars also said Monday that the number of remains is still 146, but that some could be duplicates. As a result, Spillars says she cannot confirm exactly how many people died in the May 22nd twister.

The number of people unaccounted for stood at 43 on Sunday. One person has since been found alive, one had been listed twice and the number of confirmed dead has risen to 14. Offsetting that, four more people have been named as missing.

The hundreds of rescue workers in Joplin are making a fifth sweep of the city in the search for survivors, even as the likelihood of finding anyone else alive amid the rubble is growing more unlikely.

Fire Chief Mitch Randles said Monday that dog teams are out helping rescuers who have converged on Joplin from as far as hundreds of miles away. What Randles calls a “sixth and final” sweep will begin after the fifth is complete.

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