Sunday, April 11, 2010

Greensburg Kansas City Park

We are parked in the Greensburg, Kansas city park and loving it. We have 15 Amp electric, grass to park on and it is free. Not too bad. We had a couple of reasons to come here. First of all, we wanted to see how the city has recovered from the devastating tornado that ripped up the town 3 years ago. Secondly, we had read about the rebuilt church, so what better to do than attend services there on Sunday.

We've driven around town 3 or 4 times and it is both amazing and sometimes depressing. Two years ago when we stopped, there were few rebuilt homes. As you looked across the landscape, it was streets, avenues and mostly a few tree stumps with few if any limbs. Today, there are lots of homes. Plus the other most notable thing is that all of the churches have been rebuilt. The church is built, but much of the exterior landscaping is left to be done. There are 6 churches and we only noticed 2 or 3 that had posted names outside. It all takes time.

We stopped at the hand dug deep well, which is eventually going to be the site of their museum. In the meantime, the well is covered over and the small building is a museum/historical display of the effects of the tornado. The landscape is difficult to describe, there was so much utter destruction. One feature of the town is that it has the widest streets every where that we have seen. If you're going the wrong way, it is no problem to do a U-turn on any street, not just main street.

A park neighbor just outside of the park stopped by this afternoon and we visited with him about the storm and how the people have recovered. He made some interesting comments, like a typical tornado is fast moving, it hits and is gone. The tornado that destroyed the town was a very slow moving one, typically beating on a house for one to two minutes. He with his wife were in a small closet under the staircase going up to the second floor. The winds lifted the house off of the foundation twice that he can remember. Interestingly, most of the people that were injured were in the basement. The storm came over, blew away the house and then rained debris down upon them, which caused most of the injuries.

He had nothing but praise for FEMA and other federal agencies. One of the services brought in a huge tent and served gourmet meals for some time for the entire town. He admitted that there is the usual bickering and frustrations between people. The town has made a decision that all buildings need to be in accordance with a level of "Green" construction. Obviously, if being green is not your thing, it upsets people.

Tomorrow we had north east again. We' planning to visit a Tall Grass Prairie Preserve. I'm not sure if we'll see much, as one article indicated that they were burning the area. We can call them tomorrow. There is a city park where we're headed, but sadly, it isn't free. We'll probably still stay there.


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