Tornado-stricken town rebuilds with clean energy

In this photo taken April, 18, 2014, a large photo of tornado damage hangs in a hallway of the rebuilt high school in Greensburg, Kan. Seven years after an EF-5 tornado destroyed most of the community of 1,500, Greensburg's population is around 850 residents. (AP Photo/Charlie Rieel)
In this photo taken April, 18, 2014, a large photo of tornado damage hangs in a hallway of the rebuilt high school in Greensburg, Kan. Seven years after an EF-5 tornado destroyed most of the community of 1,500, Greensburg's population is around 850 residents. (AP Photo/Charlie Rieel)

PHOTOS:

GREENSBURG, Kan. (AP) — After a mammoth tornado wiped out most of Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007, supporters of clean energy seized on an unusual opportunity to rebuild a town from the ground up with the latest green technology.

They came up with a sustainable-power dreamscape: wind turbines to power hundreds of homes, futuristic buildings with environmentally friendly features and a gleaming new school that runs on less than half the water of its flattened predecessor.

But the reimagining of Greensburg has failed to provide what it needs most: people. The storm sent half the town packing, accelerating an exodus from rural Kansas that had been underway for decades.

Those who stayed now acknowledge that the reborn town is serving a population of only about 800 and is still looking for answers.

 

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