Teens remember Greensburg tornado and the bonds they share

May 16, 2007 - Heavily damaged Greensburg High School before it was torn down (Greg Henshall / FEMA)

GREENSBURG, Kan. (KSNW) – With graduation right around the corner, a group of six high school seniors should be thinking about the future. Today, instead, they reflect on their past and their special bond.

“We’ve been through so much together,” said Janessa Zenger.

“It was just hard to accept the fact that everything was gone,” added Tiara West.

Most of the seniors said it seemed like just a normal day, but once the storms started moving in, they knew something felt different, that something bad was going to happen.

On May 4, 2007, an EF-5 tornado ripped through the town of Greensburg, destroying most of it.

“For the longest time it smelled like the tornado,” said McKenzie Kendall. “You would be walking down the street and you could just smell it.”

As the town rebuilt, these seniors, then 8-year-old kids, had to attend classes in campers, bouncing from one class to another.

These experiences strengthened their friendships then, and now. Though they will be going their separate ways after graduation, they have plans to remain close.


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