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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Greensburg stresses recovery, safety today

This tornado-torn town officially moved from response to recover mode this morning, the incident commander said at a news briefing.

Dave Sterbenz, deputy chief of the Topeka Fire Department, said officials are convinced that everyone has been accounted for in the town destroyed by Friday's tornado.

"We have absolutely no knowledge of missing persons or any bodies," he said.

Search crews will still be called as needed, Sterbenz said, but rescuers don't expect any calls.

The effort now swings toward recovery. The emphasis today will stress building safety and beginning to clean up the mounds of debris amid today's pouring rain that is drenching the town.

FEMA trailers continue to arrive, although there are no utilities. A propane leak overnight caused some concern but has been fixed.

High school principal Darin Headrick said graduation ceremonies are planned for 11 a.m. May 19. Headrick said the graduation would be in Greensburg but he doesn't know where.

A pair of looters arrested Sunday, meanwhile, were scheduled to have their first court appearance today in Mullinville about 10 miles away.

Fred Mann

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