May 4, 2007 tornado devastates Greensburg – Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas 2021-05-04 12:43:34 –

Greensburg, Kansas (KSNW) – On May 4, 2007, Greensburg was struck by an EF 5 tornado that destroyed the town, killing 11 people and injuring 63.

That night, a thunderstorm in Supercell formed throughout the Midwest, causing tornadoes in several states. The intense supercell, which developed southwest of Greensburg, formed 12 tornadoes. One formed around 9 pm in northwestern Comanche County and moved northeast through Kiowa County. The tornado stayed on the ground for 65 minutes and struck Greensburg at around 9:45 pm. The tornado was 1.7 miles wide when it hit 1,400 towns.

The tornado trajectory showed that the tornado was on the ground for almost 29 miles and recorded surface winds as strong as 205 mph. There are few images of the tornado itself. This is because the tornado hit the sunset in the past and was covered in rain when the tornado struck.

A NOAA forecaster in Dodge City issued a tornado warning 39 minutes before the wedge tornado hit the town. Approximately 10-12 minutes before the collision in Greensburg, Dodge City Meteorological Bureau staff updated the warning with a tornado emergency message, urging residents to enter the shelter immediately.

The devastation of Greensburg naturally caught everyone’s attention over the weekend, and our sympathy is directed at the families of those killed by the tornado. ” NOAA National Weather Service Central Area Director Lynn Maximuk said in a publication shortly after the storm. “The residents of Greensburg have experienced a level of destruction that has not been seen for many years.”

The Greensburg tornado was the first hit EF5 in the United States since the National Weather Service began using Enhanced Fujita Scale. The last F5 tornado to occur in the United States was the 1999 Oklahoma City tornado.

“It didn’t sound like a freight train. The best way I could explain it is to drive on the freeway at 205 mph, lower the window and stick your head out of the window. You hear the same sound. “In 2007, Jeff Blackburn, a pastor of the Greensburg Menonite Church, said.

When the damage was finally calculated, the storm destroyed 961 homes and businesses, causing great damage to 216 people. In addition, 307 houses and buildings were slightly damaged.

“I really miss the lives of the 11 people lost here in town, but it would have been worse if people hadn’t taken it seriously. The town was leveled. And five years It’s hard to remember later now that I was looking at the pictures accurately from time to time, “said Mayor Bob Dixon in 2012.

In the days and weeks after the tornado, the Greensburg Community decided to rebuild with sustainability in mind. Since then, there are now wind farms in the area. This is the world’s most LEED accredited per capita green building, including platinum accredited schools.

“This is a great story to be able to come back and have a beautiful downtown and a beautiful school,” said city administrator Ed Truelove in 2014.

Greensburg is currently one of the most energy efficient towns in the country.

“One of the goals of the whole town was not only to rebuild things from the past, but to ensure that things were built for the future,” said school principal Darin Headrick in 2014. I will.

The town is still struggling to attract residents. The population is about 800, down from the 2007 tornado of about 1,400.

“Before the storm, we were a small Kansas community struggling to maintain and grow,” Sue Green Leaf Taylor, director of economic development for the city, told AP in 2014. Maintain and grow.

According to the National Weather Service, 2007 set a new record for the number of tornadoes in Kansas. That year, it recorded 137 tornadoes, surpassing the 135 records set two years ago. On May 5, 2007, 36 tornadoes occurred in Kansas. That year, a tornado in Kansas killed 14 people and injured 82.

Think back | KSN warns Greensburg about tornadoes

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