COMMENTS: Not in Kansas Anymore

Even though the twister tore through Kansas on Friday night, its devastation of the town of Greensburg, population 1,500, was so total that it qualified as Story of the Day three days later. All three networks led with the return of the townsfolk to the ruins of their homes.

CBS aired breathtaking stormchasing videotape from on its newscast that is not available on its site. Cynthia Bowers (no link) visited the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma City where she learned that this storm was strong enough to send "automobile-sized missiles flying in excess of a hundred yards." This was the strongest tornado on the great plains since 1999, one of 136 spawned by a single weather system. CBS' Hari Sreenivasan gave us the facts and figures: wind speeds topped 205 mph; the funnel was 1.7 miles wide; the storm category was F5, the highest classification; ten residents were killed; only six homes remained habitable.

NBC's Charles Hadlock obtained videotape of Main Street from last week so he could show the "small town on the prairie" before and after. He found the former centerpiece of the town's museum, a 1,000lb meteorite, deposited by the storm beneath rubble. His colleague Janet Shamlian interviewed the town's soda jerk. Richard Huckriede had worked the counter on Main Street for 55 years: "He realizes the last soda has been served." Next week the local high school plans to hold graduation ceremonies "even though the high school is in ruins," ABC's Mike von Fremd pointed out. "Rebuilding this town will take years."


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.