School wall in Greensburg, KS, leveled by another storm

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Greensburg, Kansas has reinvented itself in the two years since a tornado killed 14 area residents and destroyed 95 percent of the town’s buildings.

Greensburg became a national focal point in May 2007 when an extaordinarily powerful tornado leveled most buildings in town. Before the tornado, the town’s proximity to U.S. 54 and I-35 made it home to several trucking families and OOIDA members.

Several new major buildings and new homes are aiming to meet stringent environmentally efficient standards, and some buildings have been constructed with thick, storm-resistant concrete.

Consider Mother Nature still undefeated.

According to The Pratt Tribune, a thunderstorm with a 90 mile-per-hour wind briefly hit town Friday afternoon, July 10, toppling a concrete wall being built as part of the town’s new high school.

OOIDA members Darrell and Velda Wadel have seen two generations of their family raised in Greensburg.

The Wadels didn’t sound surprised that another storm caused some destruction in their hometown.

“I think we’re jinxed,” Velda said, laughing Tuesday. “We’ve had a tornado touch down to the north, west and east of our farm. We need to leave.”

The school construction pales in comparison to the tornado heard round the world, Velda said, so Friday’s storm didn’t dampen the town’s hope.

“There are lots of houses, maybe 300 of them built now. It’s amazing what’s happened,” Velda said. “The courthouse is coming along good. City Hall is coming along real good. The county building is up.

“There is lots and lots of stuff up now. You’d be amazed.”

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com

 

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