On May 21, 2011 the community of Reading Kansas was struck by a tornado which has been classified as an EF3, a category with peak winds ranging from 136 - 165 mph. The storm damaged virtually every building in the community of 240 people and resulted in one death and five injured.
The path of the Reading tornado was still clearly visible two weeks later when these photos were taken, but the amount of cleanup work which has already been done is astounding. The fallen and uprooted trees have been cut up and moved to a huge pile East of town and the worst buildings have already been bulldozed and only a hole or bare patch remain.
Although the disaster in Reading has been overshadowed by greater tornado destruction in communities like Joplin, Missouri, the surrounding area has rallied behind Reading. The United Way of the Flint Hills has received more than $50,000 from area residents with more money coming from around the country. Emporia native NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer has donated $10,000 to help Reading, Kansas.
copyright 2011 by Keith Stokes