EF-5, 1.7 miles-wide for 22+ miles Winds of 205 mph The Wedge Tornado minutes before destroying Greensburg Two rope tornadoes that were with the wedge
Preliminary track of 3 largest tornadoes in Kiowa county on May 4 th. The 2 nd tornado just east of Greensburg grew to 2 miles in width! - National Weather Service Average Size vs Greensburg Size Relativity
Greensburg BeforeAfter Note: You dont see much green in the After picture because most of the trees were stripped of their leaves & branches and a majority of the lawns in town are now covered with splintered wood and debris.
Kiowa County Memorial Hospital (Only hospital for 30 miles) Fire Station Community Services
Looking west down Highway 54 with Main St. running perpendicular What remains of only stoplight intersection in town SW Corner of Hwy 54 and Main St. Intersection This corner… …now looks like this Kiowa County Historical Museum Then & Now
Dillons Grocery Store (Only full-service grocery store in county - triage center after tornado) Suttons True Value Hardware Store (Only full-service hardware store & lumber yard in county) Fleeners Furniture Store (Only furniture store in county – Established in 1907) Note the red farm equipment in the rubble was not an original part of the store!
Main Street Kiowa County Signal (Newspaper Office) and Daylight Donuts (Local coffee shop) Kiowa County Library (books on the shelf) Post Office
Main Street (cont) Duckwalls (local five & dime) Before Twilight Theatre - Historic County Movie Theatre (Community-owned theatre that had a pressed-tin ceiling and first showed silent films in 1917; Most recent admission prices: $4.00 for adults and $2.50 for kids)
Hunter Drug Store Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in Hunter Drug Store where Richard Huckriede has served Dickie Drinks since 1952 Before & After Main Street (cont)
Greensburg High School Gym – Host to Sports, Proms & Graduations
Missing 3rd Floor Auditorium Before Greensburg High School (GHS)
Auditorium (She had just received new desks that day) Mrs. Macs Math/Physics Room & Chemistry Lab South Wing of GHS Main Entrance to South Wing Front Office http://www.usd422.org/ Biology Room
South Wing Hallway (Note trophies still in the case!) Rest of South Wing of GHS Mrs. Mac rescued 2 of her desks!
Class Lockers & Break Area (The Pit) AuditoriumLibrary Band/Vocal Room Inside GHS
Delmer Day Elementary School & Jr. High Storm Shelter of Grade School (Shower Facilities) New Practice Gym (and maybe bleachers from football field?) Football Field missing bleachers
Baptist Church Methodist Church minus steepled roof Christian Church Churches of Greensburg (~11 Total)
Catholic Church - The 2 ladies in grey lived next to and attended this church as kids & their father helped erect the bell tower – unfortunately he passed away last year, but they rang the bell in his honor after the storm to celebrate that it was still standing. Mennonite Church – Completely cleaned up within a week of the storm (God really can work wonders!)
Water Tower The Worlds Largest Hand Dug Well (aka The Big Well) Before & After Viewing Dome over Well Gift Shop
Arrow to Big Well that hung near Kwik Shop on Hwy 54 2 nd Worlds Largest Pallasite Meteorite (1,000 lb meteorite originally discovered near Greensburg & was on display at the Big Well – Largest one was found in same area & is in the Smithsonian) http://www.bigwell.org/
Kwik Shop Gas Station Local High School Hangout For more than a week after the storm, the nearest gas station was 10 miles away.
Anyone for a swim?No, this house was not originally built here. Even the houses that are still standing look like this on the inside and will probably have to be torn down.
Homes (1,700 Total in Greensburg) Destroyed: 961 Major Damage: 105 Minor Damage: 67 Affected: 11 (broken windows, shingles & gutters – which means Minor Damage = ?) Businesses Major Damage: 110 Minor Damage: 24 (One loss estimate, covering only insured damage: more than $153 million) Overall Assessment
Bed springs Storage Units Picture still hanging in Methodist Church Lawnmower still strapped in Oddities of Mother Nature Jacket pinned to tree by metal bar
Good News (Things that were mostly intact) GHS Ranger Bus (Saved by Mrs. McMurray who had taken the Forensics Team to State Forensics that day) Carriage House (Retirement Home) Kiowa County Courthouse Before & After Greensburg State Bank (double-bricked walls - safe deposit boxes might be okay?? ….if you have a key)
President Bush Visits Small Farm Town, USA This family owned this motel Her parents used to own this motel When Pres. Bush visited a destroyed home, the homeowner said she would have "invited him in for a cup of coffee, but I didn't have time to dust."
I am struck by the strength of the character of the people who live here in the Plains...who refuse to have their spirit affected by this storm; as a matter of fact, who are willing to do what it takes to rebuild in a better way. America is blessed to have such people. - President George W. Bush "Everything you can think of that makes up a town has gone except for the people, she said. "But, you know, Kansans are pretty resilient. There will be a period of mourning and grief, and then the rebuilding will be underway." - Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius Our Spirit is Strong
And the clean-up and recovery begins… The Kansas National Guard, Kansas Department of Transportation and contractors have hauled over 20,420 total dump truck loads to the Kiowa County landfill as of May 27 th. It equals 210,153 cubic yards of debris, which is enough to fill 64 Olympic swimming pools or an 11 ½ story building the size of the Greensburg Football Field. An estimated 100,000 cubic yards of debris still remains.
...with help from caring people nation-wide Volunteers have contributed over 24,734 hours as of May 27 th !
If you would like to help: Greensburg Rebuilding Fund c/o Greensburg State Bank P. O. Box 787 Greensburg, KS 67054 (Every dollar donated will go to rebuilding our city.) Greensburg Future Fund (through South Central Community Foundation) Call Denise Unruh at (620) 672-7929 (Money will go to the future of education in Greensburg, as well as health and community rebuild.) Big Well Rebuilding Fund City of Greensburg 239 South Main St. Greensburg, KS 67054
Green for Greensburg Fund United Way of the Plains 245 N. Water Wichita, KS 67202 Make check out to: Green for Greensburg Fund or Donate online at: https://vsadmin.united-e-way.org/uwgdf/donate/ (Types of services supported could include: counseling, medical services, vouchers for rent or utility assistance, or other services; 100% of each gift will go to direct disaster recovery assistance.) The Salvation Army 350 North Market Wichita, KS 67202 Make check out to: The Salvation Army and put Greensburg Tornado on the memo line or Call: 1-800-SAL-ARMY American Red Cross Greensburgs Local Chapter Phone Number: (620) 672-3651
We are Greensburg! For information about Greensburg residents go to: http://forums.prospero.com/kr-tornado/start For the latest on the recovery process go to: http://kwch.com/Global/story.asp?S=6517827 For more about Greensburg before and after go to: http://www.ksn.com/news/local/7478582.html Pictures used in this presentation are from the following: The Associated Press, Reuters, The Wichita Eagle Photo Staff, and other news groups; Amy Beth Christenson; David Kabal, and other online contributors.