Greensburg, Kansas

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Greensburg is a city in central Kiowa County, located in Southwest Kansas, in the Central United States. The population was 1,574 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat and most populous city of Kiowa County.[3] Greensburg is also home to the world's largest hand-dug well.

In the evening of May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 [4] tornado that traveled rapidly through the area, leveling at least 95 percent of the city and killing twelve people between the ages of 46 and 84 years of age.[5][6][7][8]



Greensburg was named for D. R. "Cannonball" Green, who owned a stagecoach company and who helped to form the city.[9]

May 2007 tornado

At 9:45 p.m. CDT on May 4, 2007,[10] Greensburg was hit by an EF5 tornado. The tornado was estimated to be 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in width — wider than the city itself — and traveled for nearly 22 miles (35 km). Ninety-five percent of the city was confirmed to be destroyed, with the other five percent being severely damaged. The National Weather Service estimated winds of the tornado to reach 205 mph (330 km/h). This was the first tornado to be rated EF5 since the update of the Fujita scale. The tornado had caused EF5 damage to at least one well-built home in Greensburg, and also is the first "5" classification since May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, as part of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. Tornado sirens sounded in the city twenty minutes before the tornado struck, and a tornado emergency was issued, which undoubtedly saved many lives.[11][12] Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and President George W. Bush both declared Kiowa County a disaster area,[13] which opened up the affected areas for national and international aid.

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