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Greensburg Tornado

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Greensburg's famed meteorite found under rubble

Finally, there's good news from here. The town's famous 1,000-pound meteorite is not lost after all. It was just hiding, under the rubble of the museum that had housed it for decades and is no more.

Baby among many owls sent to Raptor Center

When Ken Lockwood, program director of the Eagle Valley Raptor Center at Cheney, read about people helping pets that survived the Greensburg tornado, he was moved to share another story of compassion for animals.

Survivor found among Greensburg wreckage

Defying all odds, someone was found alive among the mounds of debris in Greensburg, Kansas Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Sharon Watson told The Eagle this afternoon.

2 bodies found in Greensburg, Kiowa County fishing lake

Searchers found the bodies of two more victims of the tornado in or near Greensburg today, City Administrator Steve Hewitt confirmed.

State Rep. McKinney helps dig out neighbors

As the tornado swirled above him and his youngest daughter, Dennis McKinney waited for his neighbor and her 1-year-old son to come over to his basement for shelter.

Insurance tips

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is reminding people affected by tornadoes and storms in western Kansas that the Kansas Insurance Department is available to help.

Greensburg survivors survey what is lost, appreciate what is left

The house was built in 1925, but it didn't become their home until eight years ago, when Diann moved from El Dorado to Greensburg to marry David.

Tornado kills 27 cats bound for new homes

Twenty-seven feral cats that were being transported from a farm in Syracuse to be spayed and neutered in Pratt before going to new homes were killed in the Greensburg tornado.

Help for tornado victims

At the shelter at Barclay College in Haviland, 12 miles east of Greensburg, Red Cross workers Saraphena Tannahill of Derby and Donna Ward of Coldwater said they desperately need phone service or some other way to communicate with workers at the shelter at the high school or nearby church.

Attorney general warns Kansans about scams

Attorney General Paul Morrison today warned Kansans to be wary as they begin the cleanup and rebuilding process following the recent severe weather that damaged Kansas communities.

Greensburg residents begin to sort out the rubble

Two days after the disaster, hundreds of rescuers and townspeople from Greensburg worked to bring order out of chaos. There was a lot of work, and a lot of chaos.

Survivors tell of narrow escapes, unlikely discoveries

As the faint sun rose Saturday, bit by bit it revealed the enormity of the tornado damage. Near what had been a convenience store on U.S. 54, a moving van lay on its side, spilling out a household of possessions -- a dining room set and golf clubs lay in a heap.

Residents, officials roll up their sleeves for what's next

As rain fell softly Sunday, work crews sifted through the rubble looking for more victims, backhoes cleared U.S. 54 and crews spray-painted an orange "V" on vacant houses.

HUD announces assistance plans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced a range of disaster assistance for Kiowa County and Greensburg.

Huge storm 'just kept on going'

Tornado threats typically fade when the sun sets, but meteorologists say Friday's tornado didn't form until well after dark. The supercell thunderstorm that produced the wedge-shaped tornado in Kiowa County continued to spawn tornadoes for four hours and nearly 100 miles.

Amid misery, residents vow 'life will go on'

U.S. 54 -- dubbed "the yellow brick road" as it runs through town -- was not paved with gold after the killer tornado devastated Greensburg.

'Idol' star sings for Greensburg's benefit

Those who saw former Wichitan Phil Stacey on "American Idol" know he can sing. But the 2,900 people who attended Stacey's sold-out benefit concert at Central Christian Church on Tuesday learned that singing is just one of Stacey's talents.

Country Roundup to give portion of ticket sales to Greensburg

Country music fans who buy an all-session ticket on Thursday to the upcoming Winfield Country Roundup can save money -- and contribute to Greensburg tornado relief at the same time.

New Greensburg mayor will attack rebuilding one piece at a time

It's been one month since Greensburg was devastated by a tornado packing 205-mph winds, and only a few days since John Janssen was named the new mayor. (Lonnie McCollum, who in the early days was a tireless booster, resigned the post citing mental exhaustion.)

U.S. 54 to reopen Monday through Greensburg

U.S. 54 through Greensburg, which has been closed since the May 4 tornado, will reopen to traffic on Monday. For the past month, motorists have been detoured around the tornado-ravaged city as cleanup crews used the highway to haul debris to a landfill.

Shelter housing Greensburg pets fights parvo

The animal shelter holding dogs and cats displaced by the Greensburg tornado has been put under a quarantine because of an outbreak of parvovirus. The Pratt County Humane Society was placed under quarantine May 25 after several dogs were diagnosed with the highly contagious canine disease, Carmen Simon of the Kansas Animal Health Department said Thursday.

Experts: EPA asbestos tests aren't enough

In the weeks since a monster tornado knocked down Greensburg, hundreds of residents and volunteers have been wading through the debris of nearly 1,000 flattened buildings.

Rodeo offers respite

GREENSBURG TAKES A BREAK The portable lights came from Dodge City, the fence panels from Cimarron, the bleachers from Haviland and the food from Garden City.

Greensburg aid: $32 million

Near a symbol of survival for Greensburg, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a $32 million relief package for rebuilding the town. Lawmakers approved the measure Tuesday, which had been set aside for the ceremonial closing of the Legislature but quickly turned into a day of work to help Greensburg, where a tornado ripped through on the night of May 4. More than 1.5 miles wide and packing winds of up to 205 mph, it leveled more than 90 percent of the town of 1,400 and killed 10 people.

Groups accept, raise funds for victims

HOW TO DONATE MONEY KEYN Radio, KSN Channel 3 and Dillons Grocery Stores will conduct a statewide Greensburg Disaster Relief Telethon from 7-9 p.m. today. Call 888-952-6790.

Voice of Elmo to visit Greensburg children

In an effort to bring fun to Greensburg kids, Kevin Clash, the man who for years has been the voice of Elmo on "Sesame Street," will visit Kiowa County on Saturday.

Greensburg to open K-12 school by August

Darin Headrick, Greensburg school district superintendent, appreciates all the supplies people want to send to help his students and teachers.

Greensburg residents held tight as neighbors, rescuers searched, helped

For Norman and Beverly Volz, May 4 began as a day of quiet celebration. Bev had just finished seven weeks of breast cancer radiation and felt optimistic. At their home that Friday night, Bev, 52, and Norman, 54, held hands and smiled at each other. They had been married 33 years.

Competitive cooks feed the town

Memorial Day weekend has always been a big time in Greensburg, and the May 4 tornado won't change that. Neither will the people attending the town's annual rodeo and high school reunion go hungry, thanks to some barbecue aficionados from around the state and region.

Greensburg accepts mayor's resignation, names new one

The Greensburg City Council on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Mayor Lonnie McCollum and set a June date when the city will begin contacting owners of property that hasn't been touched since the tornadoes destroyed the town.

Elevator signals Greensburg's rebirth

One month after surviving a tornado that destroyed most of Greensburg, the massive concrete grain elevator offers one of the first signs that the community's rebuilding effort has begun.

Storm-hit Ellinwood church to try to rebuild

The owners of a century-old church near here that was heavily damaged by the tornado that leveled Greensburg will renovate and repair the building as money becomes available.

More storms threaten Greensburg; cleanup volunteers being kept out

Severe weather could threaten the Greensburg area Tuesday and Tuesday night, so volunteers will not be permitted inside the decimated Kiowa County town.

Meteorite to go on display in Wichita

About a month ago, Greensburg recovered its famous 1,000-pound pallasite meteorite from beneath rubble near the World's Largest Hand-Dug Well.

Hopeful but exhausted, Greensburg mayor quits

Greensburg Mayor Lonnie McCollum -- a voice of optimism since a tornado devastated his town -- said Friday that he has resigned because he is mentally exhausted and wants to get back to being a retiree.

Grant will pay storm victims for working in cleanup effort

Residents whose livelihoods were interrupted by the May 4 tornado can be paid for working in the cleanup effort under a $20 million federal grant announced Thursday.

Tickets to Phil Stacey concert sold out

Phil Stacey's fundraising concert in Wichita sold out this morning. Stacey, a former Wichitan who tied for fifth place on this year's "American Idol," will perform Tuesday night at Central Christian Church to help raise money for Greensburg tornado relief.

Greensburg teen focuses on qualifying for state meet

Adam Haskin, a Greensburg High sophomore, lost his home and belongings in the May 4 tornado, but he never lost sight of one goal: to compete at this weekend's Kansas State Track Meet.

Coverage gaps keep weather warnings from reaching all

The National Weather Service has been urging people to make weather radios a cornerstone of their defense against severe weather for years. But county emergency management officials say there are large gaps in central and south-central Kansas.

Cleanup update, other Greensburg news in brief

The Kansas adjutant general's office released this update Wednesday on Greensburg recovery work: Debris removal As of Wednesday morning, 13,114 dump truck loads of storm debris had been hauled to the Kiowa County landfill. The landfill will be closed for Memorial Day weekend.

Church protests storm victim's funeral

Sarah Keller thought it was outrageous that someone would aim a protest at a church where people were honoring a military veteran who died after being injured by the Greensburg tornado.

Montel Williams: Wichita helped me get started in talk business

Emmy-winning daytime talk show host Montel Williams credited Wichita for helping launch his public speaking career. In 1988, Williams, a Navy lieutenant, spoke about drugs to Wichita classrooms with a friend, Lt. Drew Brown.

Greensburg to receive $32 million in state aid

With standing ovations for one of their members who lost his home in the Greensburg tornado, state lawmakers approved a $32 million relief package to help the town get back on its feet.

Highway 54 to remain closed over busy travel weekend

Highway 54 between Greensburg and Pratt will remain closed over the Memorial Day weekend, Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General's Office, said today.

U.S. 54 reopens at Greensburg today

U.S. 54 through Greensburg will reopen for traffic at noon today -- one month to the day after a massive tornado destroyed most of the town.


Approximately 100 Farm Bureau Financial Services agents and employees worked the area four miles south of Maxwell on Friday to clear debris from farm fields. The employees and agents drove from Manhattan to help.

Tornado doesn't throw off rodeo

Every year for 43 years, Greensburg has had a rodeo. This year, the tornado not withstanding, will be no exception. The rodeo is on for Friday and Saturday, as scheduled.

Severe weather looms for Wichita area on Wednesday

Wichita and Sedgwick County face the threat of tornadoes on Wednesday, forecasters warn. The Storm Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has placed a portion of Kansas, along with parts of Oklahoma and Nebraska, at a moderate risk for severe weather on Wednesday.

Pomp despite circumstances

The Greensburg High School Class of 2007 had one doozy of a senior prank planned, if only the weather had cooperated. This was no mere TP job.

Tornado survivors take shelter where they can

Karen Gibson boiled three packages of spaghetti noodles, browned two pounds of ground beef, simmered three jars of pasta sauce, tossed a salad the size of a basketball and baked up four boxes of garlic bread to feed her growing household on a recent Thursday night.

Weather to keep Greensburg volunteers out

Severe weather could threaten the Greensburg area today and tonight, so volunteers will not be permitted inside the decimated Kiowa County town.

Profiles of the Greensburg High Class of 2007

Activities: Played volleyball and worked at Dillons, bagging and stocking What she lost: Because she lives outside Greensburg, her home was unaffected, and "I got all my stuff out of my (school) locker the next day, so I really am one of the lucky ones."

Exploration Place displays meteorite

Greensburg's famous 1,000-pound space rock landed at Exploration Place on Monday, where it will be on display for about a month. Dubbed the "Space Wanderer" when it was unearthed in 1949, the pallasite meteorite -- the second-largest of many that have been excavated in Kansas -- will spend the next few months wandering the state while Greensburg rebuilds.

Individuals can help with cleanup this weekend

Norman Shank has helped others in need. Now he is on the receiving end. He's amazed when people he doesn't even know show up at what's left of his 37-year-old house to help reclaim his life. Volunteers with Billy Graham prayed with him. Members of the Central Kansas Chapter of the American Disc Jockey Association helped clean up debris.

Greensburg meteorite on display at Exploration Place

Greensburg's famous 1,000-pound space rock landed at Exploration Place today, where it will be on display for about a month.

The Greensburg tornado damage you can't see

Right after the tornado wiped out his town, 11-year-old J.D. Colclazier heard screams over his father's emergency radio. It was another father yelling into his emergency radio: "My kids are pinned! I need help now!"

Woman thought her cat was lost in the tornado

Diann Rogers knew there was no way Bebe could have survived. She had called and called for her 9-year-old cat to come home the evening of May 4. The Rogerses lived across from the John Deere dealership in Greensburg. Bebe loved to sneak over and catch catnaps in the tractor cabs.

Highway plan linked to future of Greensburg

The tornado that leveled most of this community cleared the way for a highway construction project that may ultimately shape how the town will be rebuilt.

How many toothbrushes does Greensburg need?

Since the May 4 tornado churned through Greensburg, the Kansas town has become a magnet for generosity. Underlying all the giving is a definite psychology, observers and officials say.

Greensburg tornado victim reclaiming life

It takes time. Danny Trent takes several deep breaths, then gingerly swings his legs off the bed. He waits till the pain subsides. And then he stands. On May 4, doctors didn't know if he would survive. The Greensburg tornado had sucked Danny up out of his house and slammed him into a water-filled ditch 100 yards away.

Trailers OK'd for more Greensburg residents

More families displaced by a tornado that destroyed most of Greensburg have been given the green light to move into some of the temporary mobile homes sitting vacant in town.

Insured losses from twister: $153 million

The May 4 Greensburg tornado is proving to be one of the state's most expensive disasters of the past decade, making the month of May among the most costly in recent memory.

TV show's focus: 'Greening' Greensburg

The rebuilding of tornado-devastated Greensburg ought to make for dramatic television. And a big-name TV producer was in town Monday night to explain how he -- with the help of movie star Leonardo DiCaprio -- planned to capture that drama and help the town while he's at it.

Mobile home park opens up for Greensburg

Residents have begun moving into 300 mobile homes in Greensburg, in what officials hope is a temporary solution for those who lost their homes in the May 4 tornado.

From Udall to Greensburg: Gift of trees

Jerrold Hoffman has vivid memories of that night 52 years ago when a tornado leveled this little town, destroyed nearly all its trees and killed 77 people.

Membership lists fill 1937 Greensburg time capsule

No money or important documents. Instead, a 70-year-old time capsule found in the tornado wreckage of Greensburg High School held newspapers, membership lists and other ties to the city's past.

Greensburg's people facing tough choices

If you had to start over, rebuild your life from scratch, what would you do? If you had no home. No business. If the town where you're raising a family was reduced to dirt, with only scattered remains of buildings and homes. Forget about schools and churches. Nothing's left.

U.S. 54 in Greensburg to move to the north

U.S. 54, the most traveled road through tornado-ravaged Greensburg, will be moved about three blocks north of where it is now, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced today.

Labor grant goes to Greensburg

The U.S. Senate has approved legislation to allow funds from a $20 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to be used to hire public employees who will help Greensburg rebuild from the tornado that destroyed most of the town in May.

Picnic to help town make new memories

Larry Burke's memories of celebrating the Fourth of July as a kid in Greensburg are quintessential small-town America. There were fireworks stands on nearly every corner, he said, and he and his brother Dennis would buy bottle rockets from nearly all of them.

Greensburg's lost pets get one more chance at a home

Lanna Swisher tried to keep her expectations low when she arrived at the animal shelter. It had been more than two months since she had last seen her cat. Buddy, a 3-year-old gray tabby, had been missing since the May 4 tornado leveled Greensburg.

Greensburg happy to get back to school

Days after the deadly May 4 tornado took out this town, the superintendent of schools declared they'd have classes come August. Privately, folks in town thought the notion was crazy. No way it would happen, not when virtually everything was gone.

2 months later, he's home, healing

Danny Trent, one of the last victims of the Greensburg tornado to be released from the hospital, celebrated a new-found freedom on Wednesday.

Guard members asked to return pay

More than 50 National Guard members who were deployed to Greensburg after a tornado wiped out most of the town are being asked to return some of their pay because of a bookkeeping glitch.

Greensburg repopulates lot by lot

Along the littered streets of what was a thriving town of 1,400 people, concrete gray and splinter brown dominate a desolate landscape.

Greensburg cats here for adoption

The 15 cats rescued from the Greensburg tornado that were moved to the Kansas Humane Society in Wichita are available for adoption, starting today.

One tornado-ravaged town helps another

For Jerrold Hoffman, seeing trees planted in the yards of tornado-flattened Greensburg will be a dream finally coming true. Hoffman knows what it's like to survive a killer tornado. The Udall resident recalls when a tornado leveled his town southeast of Wichita 52 years ago, killing 77 people and ripping away most of the trees.

No building? No problem

Greensburg's faithful don't let the destruction of their churches by a tornado keep them from gathering to worship.

Warren to help rebuild theater in Greensburg

Larry Burke wandered the streets of Greensburg in shock the night of May 4. Today, three months after a tornado leveled his hometown, the founder of Wichita's Copper Oven Cafe and Bakery is fighting back.

Post-tornado gifts overwhelm Greensburg

Residents in the tiny town of Fairview didn't know they'd be sending trees, toys and ornaments -- all the essentials of Christmas -- to the kids of tornado-torn Greensburg.

AT&T honors Greensburg pair

Within an hour after an EF-5 tornado ripped through their community, AT&T employees Melissa Lucht and Ed Stauth were at their office attempting to re-establish some semblance of a telephone network in Greensburg.

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