Internet coverage of Greensburg Tornado includes public remembrances, photos and video.
The huge twister that struck Greensburg Friday night and took at least nine lives has become a topic of citizen media coverage over the past 24 hours. Bloggers, photographers and videographers have been sharing coverage and commentary on their personal sites as well as Flickr.com and YouTube.com.
The Kiowa County Signal is inviting people with photos and video to post them to Flickr.com and YouTube.com and tag the submissions with "Greensburg07."
Currently, on YouTube you can find a video Jburtonstone with dramatic pictures of debris and destroyed buildings. Sabian2323 posted a video apparently shot Friday night of first-responders checking the damage. Another video compiles several radar images taken from various internet sites and sets the video to an Elvis Presley song.
In the blogosphere, coverage has ranged from providing updates for readers to remembrances of Greensburg by former residents.
The most dramatic blog coverage of the storm has come from Mike U., apparently a radar operator. He called the tornado a "career storm."
"It’s 3:00am, I’m still up, but should be going to bed, but I’m just too darned keyed up. Where do I begin? The storm of the day erupted at the southernmost end of a cluster of pseudo-organized right and left members to its immediate north. But the far southern storm that erupted out of nowhere just had that shape," Mike U. writes at the top of his blog post.
Later, he adds, "Then the message was sent out… a plea from Greensburg dispatch… 'Ford County communications this is Greensburg… we just took a direct hit…'.. that came no more than about 3 or 4 minutes after the couplet passed over. I then immediately sent out another SVS indicating that Greensburg likely took a direct hit."
Patsy Terrell has been covering the story since Friday night, which apparently led to links to her site from CNN.com.
"Greg, Mia and I have watched storm coverage since about 9 p.m. and it's almost 3 a.m. now, but we're only getting to see photos and videos in the last few minutes," Terrell wrote in her first post about the tornado. "I'm sure there will be much more to show. It's fascinating to watch as an observer, but you can't stop thinking about how people's lives have been dramatically changed in the blink of an eye."
For a blogger who goes only by her first name, Sheri, the storm brought her back to 1995 when she lived in Greensburg and was married to a reporter for the Signal.
"It was my first experience living in an actual “small town” and it wasn’t easy for me," Sheri writes. "He’d grown up in them, though, and took to it like a duck to water. I’m pretty shy and slightly antisocial, which translates to “snooty” in a town where literally everybody knows EVERYbody. I went from being a silly girl (I was only 24) with a few good friends I hung out with a lot in Joplin, MO (pop. 50,000), to the new editor’s snooty wife in Greensburg, KS (pop. 1,570) in a matter of days. I stayed home a lot, waiting for the ex to come home so I’d have someone to talk to."
Later, she adds: "I’m watching the footage. The Dillons is gone. The Best Western J-Hawk Motel, where I worked for one day in housekeeping, is gone. The house we rented was on the street directly behind it, so it’s probably gone as well. I can’t tell about the Kwik Shop (formerly Coastal Mart) where, you got it — I ALSO worked for a bit, but it’s along that row."
On the flip side is the apparent ex-husband who has blogged about his own memories of those six months spent in Greensburg.
"Back in the back half of 1995, after I'd graduated from Missouri Southern State College, I took a job as the editor - more like "head writer," actually - at The Kiowa County Signal, a small, weekly newspaper about 105 miles west of Wichita," writes the blogger who goes by the handle Bricksonbricks. "The newspaper was located in a town called Greensburg, which might have been a small town, but by my estimations, it had everything you needed - bank, grocery store, school, plenty of places to live, work, eat and worship. The people there were friendly, and the atmosphere was small-town perfect. A great place to live. That is, unless you're some overgrown Valley Girl who couldn't stand to be more than umbilical cord's length away from Mommy and Daddy, like the ex-wife. This is why we were only there for about six months."
An area pastor wrote about seeing the beginnings of the storm while driving through the area with his family.
"Eerie because from that distance, it was just the silent flashing of enormous energy. Occasionally if you listened, a low rumble," wrote Pastor Brian.
A photographer posted several photos he took a year ago of Richard Huckriede and the Hunter Drugstore.
Jeff Gammons links to three photos of the tornado taken by storm chaser Melanie Metz.
On Flickr.com, Osprey also has a photo of the wide twister.
UPDATE: Patsy Terrell has posted a new report on information she's gathered about the situation in Greensburg.