Three Towns on my delivery route were destroyed by tornadoes last nite...3 dead,over 50 injured,Greensburg Kansas has been wiped off the face of the earth. Macksville and Hopewell were hit by this same storm. This thing was over a mile wide when it hit Greensburg.Nasty time of the year for us Kansasans!
Huge twister hammers Kansas town
POSTED: 0952 GMT (1752 HKT), May 5, 2007
(CNN) -- A half-mile wide tornado swept through downtown Greensburg, Kansas, causing heavy damage and injuring dozens of residents, according to officials and witnesses.
"The entire town was pretty much wiped out," said storm chaser Allan Detrich. "There wasn't too many buildings standing."
Kiowa County Memorial Hospital was "partially collapsed" with people still trapped inside early Saturday, according to Kansas Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Sharon Watson. (Watch another tornado touch down in Oklahoma Video)
A search team from Sedgewick, Kansas, that specializes in rescues from collapsed buildings was called in to help, she said.
About 75 percent of Greensburg was either destroyed or heavily damaged, Watson said.
At least 40 people who were injured by the storm in Greensburg were driven 50 miles east to Pratt Regional Medical Center for treatment, according to spokeswoman Kim Stivers.
The less severely injured are lining the hallways and lobby, while the more seriously hurt are being treated in the emergency room, Stivers said. Some patients are being sent on to Wichita hospitals from there, she said.
Detrich, who was able to enter Greensburg soon after the twister passed through, said the small town was flattened.
"People were walking down the street like something out of a horror flick, a zombie movie," Detrich said.
Storm chaser Marty Logan, who took a dramatic photo of a tornado backlit by a burst of lightning south of Greensburg, estimated that it was at least a half-mile wide. Two smaller tornados were following to the right of the larger twister as they swept northward into Greensburg, he said.
The American Red Cross was using school and charter buses to transport hundreds of Greensburg residents about 10 miles east to shelters opened in Haviland, Kansas, at a high school and a college, Watson said.
The Kansas National Guard has dispatched 40 troops to Greensburg to help with security, she said.
Hazardous materials teams have also been sent into Greensburg to look at several overturned rail cars, she said.
The National Weather Service reported a tornado struck Greensburg at about 9:30 p.m. Friday. Greensburg has a population of fewer than 2,000 people.
Also on Friday, The Associated Press reported that three small tornadoes touched down in rural southwestern Illinois and two tornadoes hit in Oklahoma.
I was here just the nite before last....My main refueling stop is in Greensburg!!