Archive for Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Our View: Our hearts go out to Greensburg

May 9, 2007

As Kansans, we certainly empathize with those in Greensburg, the southwest Kansas town virtually wiped away by a devastating tornado last week.

Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the storm.

News reports say more than 90 percent of the buildings in the town of 1,500 have been destroyed. The twister has claimed at least 10 lives of the townsfolk there.

Here in Tonganoxie, residents were reminded of the tornado that hit here nearly seven years ago, on May 11, 2000. The F-1 storm ripped through the city, causing $2.1 million in damage to more than 200 homes and nine businesses. The next day, Kaela Humburg, 4, was killed when a porch weakened by the tornado collapsed on her.

Survivors of both storms know about the sheer power of nature. They also know how such disasters seem to bring out the best in people.

Red Cross and emergency volunteers are out in large numbers in Greensburg to help out in the storm's aftermath. National Guard units are assisting. Municipalities from across Kansas have dispatched experts in dozens of fields to Greensburg to help. Donations are pouring in from across the country.

The outside assistance, no doubt, is helpful. But in the end, it's up to Greensburg's residents to determine their town's future.

The residents have a difficult stretch ahead. How do they rebuild Greensburg? The answer doesn't begin with bricks and mortar, insurance, donations or government assistance. It starts with a strong community. If the community desires it, Greensburg will rebuild -- and Kansas will be better for it. We're betting Greensburg is up to the task.

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