Reading Kansas Tornado Recovery
Photos taken June 5, 2011

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NWS Photos from right after the tornado


Welcome to Reading, Kansas
Reading, Kansas tornado damage

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.

This is a Google Earth image from before the storm in the same direction as the photo above

First Baptist Church - Reading, Kansas
The First Baptist Church of Reading, Kansas

First Baptist Church
Decoding the marks on the buildings: a square box marks entrances that are safe to use; an orange "X" like the one above means that the
structure is not safe for search and rescue operations and may be subject to sudden additional collapse; the green "X" tells rescuers that
the FEMA US&R task force identifier is 522, that there are no victims remaining in the structure and details of dangers in the structure.

Reading Grain and Lumber Inc
Reading Grain & Lumber Inc. grain Elevator


Reading Grain and Lumber Inc - Reading, Kansas
Reading Grain & Lumber Inc.



This hole is all that remains of the Miracle Cafe which was located in an historic home. The Cafe was damaged to the point that the owner
choose to demolished the building. Reta Jackson is looking for a new building and plans to reopen the cafe someday.

Tornado damaged pickup truck

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