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Greensburg is Going Green

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By Susan Maskin

“Tornado Hits Small Kansas Town.” The headlines I read from my computer on May 5, 2007 glared at me. I opened the newspaper, The Wichita Sunday Eagle, the next morning and learned more. “Devastated:  Tornadoes tear through region, leveling Greensburg…On May 4, 2007 at about 9:45 PM, Greensburg, Kansas was “blown away.” 

 My friends, Linda and Bob, lived in this town and watched as the tornado destroyed everything in its path.

How could a little wind do so much damage? A tornado is more than just wind. It’s a strong storm. It looks like a narrow funnel spinning round and round very fast. Some tornadoes have had wind speeds up to 300 miles per hour. People have described the sound of a tornado as “roaring,” like a freight train. Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, but most are in the United States.


Photo courtesy of NSSL



When I heard of the tornado destroying 95% of Greensburg, I worried I wouldn’t get through to my friends by phone. Surely, the phones weren’t working. I tried to call anyway, and to my relief someone answered. They said their house was one of the few homes in the town still standing. However, there was damage to it. Many of the windows were broken. Roof tiles littered the floors and grass was scattered throughout the house. Trees had fallen. Car windows were shattered. There was no electricity and no water.

Greensburg, Kansas sat destroyed in less than 15 minutes. My friends Linda and Bob could not believe what remained. “The wreckage is indescribable,” they said.

People wondered. How could God do this to them? What was God’s purpose in this terrible event? These are difficult questions, but the brave people of Greensburg looked to God, not away from Him. In doing so, they found their answer. Perhaps the tornado was a message: Take care of God’s creations.

The residents of Greensburg, like others around the globe, had been hearing about environmental problems. As they rebuilt their town, they decided to “go green” by using alternative sources of energy including solar and wind power, planting trees and rebuilding their homes with concrete.


Image courtesy of BNIM Architects, Kansas City


By becoming friends of the environment, Greensburg is helping God show everyone around the world how to care for our planet that He created. It is the hope of Greensburg that people from all over the world will follow their lead in creating an environmentally friendly town and showing love for God’s creation.  


2008 Susan Maskin         



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