Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weather Channel has short film on Greensburg KS tornado

Today the Weather Channel featured a one-hour program on the Greensburg KS May 4 2007 tornado, on “When weather changed history”. The early part of the documentary shows the weather map that night. “It’s springtime in Kansas, and that means tornadoes”. There is a low pressure system to the SE, and a dry line, and tornadoes form on it. One of them dawdles and grows into a wedge tornado, a mile and a half wide, and turns slightly to the north, hitting Greensburg directly. Multiple tornadoes linger in that area of the Midwest for three days around a slow moving low. Because of the efficiency of the warning system, there were only 11 deaths.
Later the town rebuilds green, and Leonardo Di Caprio comes to town to help make a multiple-part documentary on the rebuilding, reviewed here on my TV blog. There is the comment “this town’s main export is its kids”, but at least one teen (Taylor Schmidt) becomes a star in the Di Caprio film; for younger people a disaster can turn into a career-defining opportunity.

The town develops some social cohesion as people live in the trailers or “FEMA-ville”. The film briefly describes the new jobs that green industries will create.

Attribution link for Wikimedia picture of wedge tornao in Oklahoma.

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