PICHER - Contractors arrived this week to begin a month-long clean up of debris left from the May 10 tornado that devastated much of Picher.

Together, the State of Oklahoma and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking charge of the $2.3 million project.

FEMA will incur 80 percent of the projected cost to rid the community of debris. The State will pay the balance.

The F-4 tornado claimed six lives in Picher, injured dozens of residents and destroyed more than 150 homes. Much of the south side of town was leveled.

The tornado hit the already burdened community in the middle of a federal buyout. Many residents were awaiting funds to relocate after a report two years ago indicated the possibility of subsidence in some areas of the former lead and zinc mining community.

City leaders met with FEMA officials Tuesday to discuss plans for the city's wastewater system. At this point, city officials say it is most likely that only half of the city lagoon will be repaired due to the decrease in population.

Officials say the debris will be separated then taken to a Kansas landfill.