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Greensburg, Kansas Aired Last Night

As promised, for those of you who do not get the Planet Green channel:

Two episodes were shown:

The first – “The Tornado”

On May 4, 2007 the town was hit by an F5 tornado, 10 people were killed in this town
of 1500. The entire infrastructure was annihilated and most of the residents left
homeless. A town that before the tornado, faced the very real possibility of
disappearing into the pages of history, as have many small agricultural based towns
in America. So why build a town back exactly the way it was if it’s future outlook is
dismal. The community decides to make it’s mark by rebuilding as energy efficient and
as green as possible. This was to be a daunting task especially monetarily as many
of the residents were under-insured if insured at all.

As with any major disaster, there is always a month of shock and start of cleanup.
This town had cleanup done pretty fast. Then with all of the town meetings, city
council meetings, committees, loss of a mayor, new mayor, new agenda of going green,
and how to keep folks from fleeing their town to other towns, they had to come to
terms on what to do first. No decisions were being made and folks were getting upset
that they were not part of the planning. FEMA learned from previous disasters and had
trailers set up for approximately 500 folks to live in within 30 days of the
tornado. The next thing that did come together was getting the school back (portable
buildings) and get the kids occupied. Finally, some direction.
So went the first four months

The second – “Homecoming”

The kids are trying. They stay true to their school and have their homecoming parade
down barren streets, lined with townsfolk to greet them. They have to play their
homecoming game on an unfamiliar field, and as luck would have it, lose.

One family gets started rebuilding, the lady hired a contractor who goes to church
with her mother. They pay him 181,000.00 dollars of a $197,000.00 contract. The house
gets half done and the vulture walks! Those sharks are there in every disaster.

But, the most frustrating part was the indecision that kept the people from going
forward with any plans. Many of the town’s businesses made commitments to stay and
were awaiting permits to get rolling. The city planner finally got in touch with
an environmental planner who came to town to assist in the rebuilding. After a couple
of meetings and convincing the town to go green, they had to hire a firm to layout
the city along with the mayor’s wish of a park in the middle of town. This did not
make sense to the townsfolk muchless the firm. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Once the firm came up with a picture that the mayor could envision, they finally had
some oomph behind their plan.

The next great decision was to get 2 of the high school kids (one which lost his
grandfather in the tornado) involved which was upped to 4. They went to Chicago to the
green convention and got an eyeful along with a brainful of information about turning
their town green. It will take the kids to get the townsfolk to understand that the
future of the town is also for them. So it will be very interesting to see how their
views will be welcomed by the townsfolk. The city planner will be very busy trying to
get LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certification for every
building in town that would put them on the worldwide map and get big corporation
sponsorship and assistance.

So, now you’re caught up. Next update, next Monday…..

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No Responses to “Greensburg, Kansas Aired Last Night”

  1. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    I finally sat down and watched the first parts of Greensburg. I’m so excited to be following along with the progress.

    You write an excellent summary, and look forward to your views as the series progresses.

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness (1971)

  2. mikey777 Says:

    Tornadoes are just about the worst thing that could happen to a community. We moved from California to Arkansas about 3 years ago, and I’m starting to think that I’ll never get used to the sound of that siren.

    It sounds like Greensburg is a really close-knit community. People here in the mid-south have a strong sense of unity too. If a tornado hit out west, I have a feeling it would be everyone for themselves unfortunately. People just aren’t the same out there.

    mikey777s last blog post..Terrified Americans Make Lousy Citizens

  3. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike.. thank you for the compliment. They sure have a long way to go!

    Hi Mikey777… Yes, tornadoes are the worst and they are even worst with hurricanes! Been thru too
    many of them myself!

    Lindas last blog post..Pure Water

  4. Anita Says:

    You know, when FEMA got here to Greensburg, and met the people, they were amazed at how we just got right in there and helped ourselves, and helped our neighbors… seems they’d never seen that before… It’s just a part of who we are here…

    Anitas last blog post..What exactly do I mean by simple living in my own life?

  5. Linda Says:

    Even tho, the program has only aired two episodes, it is quite obvious that y’all are a tight knitted community that greatly cares for one another. It is
    inspiring to see your young people concerned about the future of their town instead of looking to get away.

    Lindas last blog post..Pure Water

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