Sunday, April 15, 2012

Greensburg … the town that didn’t die

Today we are staying in Greensburg KS which was hit by a nearly 2 mile wide EF5 tornado in May 2007.  This was the town that was featured in the Planet Green TV program titled “Greensburg”.  This town was basically wiped off the map by the tornado which damaged something like 95% of the town.  Greensburg was not the first town in the mid-west to experience this but the unique thing about Greensburg is that the community decided to rebuilt the town in a sustainable “green” fashion.  Almost all the public and several of the private buildings are certified as LEED platinum buildings which means they are built to the highest standards for energy efficiency. 

The town also installed 10 wind generators that generate enough power for 4000 homes which is more then enough to power the complete city plus sell power to the grid.   Several individuals and businesses have also installed wind generators.  This is a photo of the city wind farm.


This building has three small wind generators plus solar panels.  For those who watched the program this is the 547 Arts Center.


This is one of the tornado shelters installed in the temporary trailer city that FEMA built to house the city residence until the rebuilding was complete (Fema’ville on the TV program) .


There is still a lot of evidence of the damage around town even after 5 years.


This is a photo of some metal debris wrapped around a tree limb at the small lake just outside of town where we are camped at this evening.  We were walking in the fields around the lake and there was debris all over the ground.


All in all we were a little surprised at how must damage and debris still remains in the town even after 5 years and how much work still remains.  We were also surprised at the number of people that obviously decided not to rebuild as evidenced by the numerous empty lots many still containing the old foundations and driveways/walks from the old houses.

More information can be found at,_Kansas

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