Greensburg — An Amazing Transformation

Just 37 months ago, May 4, 2007, the town of Greensburg, Kansas, was destroyed by one of the most violent tornadoes in history. I document the Greensburg tornado in Warnings. Larry Schwarm kindly allowed me to use his photo of the utter devastation taken the next day.

The focus of Warnings is how the storm warning system saves lives. In Greensburg, more than 200 lives were saved by the warnings and because the citizens responded appropriately.  Seasoned reporters and emergency response professionals openly wept when they saw the damage. 
 Mayor Bob Hixon told me the warnings not only saved the lives, “they saved the town.”
And, what a town it is becoming. In a farsighted commitment to rebuild “green,” Greensburg has a beautiful new main street and many attractive and functional buildings. 
The new city hall…
The new hospital…
The “5-4-7 Art Center” with a tornado-mangled tree in the foreground. 
These are just a tiny sample. Please visit Greensburg if you are in southern Kansas and see for yourself. I think you will be very impressed at how this town has risen from the rubble.

2 thoughts on “Greensburg — An Amazing Transformation

  1. Mike- how did the town get the money to rebuild so beautifully and green? Was it insurance money? Government? Donations?

  2. Joel,

    It was a combination of insurance, FEMA money and grants from corporations (i.e., Sunchip's donation of $1 million for the new business incubator [not pictured]) and individuals (the new museum for which ground was just broken). Greensburg seems to be blessed with some visionary leaders.

    Mike