Greensburg continues comeback two years after tornado

There's a Ford Escort in the yard of a house at Iowa and Sycamore streets, crushed in the middle like an aluminum can.

At first, you think it's one last piece of unpicked debris from the EF-5 tornado that swept through Greensburg two years ago. A sad reminder of the fury that destroyed 95 percent of this town and scattered its 1,600 residents.

That crumpled car, however, actually is a symbol of Greensburg's vision for the future.

And so is the house. It's called the Silo Eco-Home.

Inspired by the grain elevator on the other side of the highway that withstood the tornado, the Silo Eco-Home has rounded, 8-inch, steel-reinforced concrete walls that will keep the occupants cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

It also can withstand 180,000 pounds of impact. To prove it, last month the home builder hired a crane to drop that Escort onto the roof from a height of 60 feet – twice.

The house was undamaged.

On the night of May 4, 2007, three large, violent tornadoes burst out of a massive supercell parked over the Midwest. One of them, a 1.7-mile-wide flying wedge, charged into Greensburg, 100 miles west of Wichita.

The Greensburg tornado, which took 11 lives, was classified EF-5 – the National Weather Service's strongest rating.

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