Archive for Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Greensburg reports progress

September 25, 2007

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— Residents recovering from the devastating May 4 tornado in Greensburg told state officials on Monday that they were making progress.

"This is a community that is resilient," said the Rev. Christa Zapfe of the Ministerial Alliance in Kiowa County.

Students, religious leaders, business people and local officials presented an upbeat assessment of the "rebirth of Greensburg" although they noted they faced a long period of hard work.

The southwest Kansas town was almost completely destroyed in the tornado that killed 12 people.

Mike Estes, a business leader in the community, said people have grown closer to one another since the storm, and that has helped in reconstruction.

"We're building more than businesses; we're building relationships," Estes said.

The comments were made to a special legislative committee charged with assessing the state's response to recent disasters.

Officials received a top grade from the Greensburg contingent and the group's thanks for passage of legislation aimed at speeding up progress.

Estes said $6.4 million in business and job restoration funds helped keep most of the area's businesses home. The funds were approved by the Legislature and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

"We were just tickled to death to do something for Greensburg," said state Rep. John Faber, R-Brewster.

The town's reconstruction also is being documented for a series to be shown on the Discovery Channel. A crew was filming Monday's meeting in the Capitol.

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