Tornado Victims in Kansas Still Reel from Storm

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Tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kan. i

Even FEMA officials who are accustomed to seeing disasters seem surprised by the extent of devastation in Greensburg, Kan., where a tornado struck Friday. Jeff Brady, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady, NPR
Tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kan.

Even FEMA officials who are accustomed to seeing disasters seem surprised by the extent of devastation in Greensburg, Kan., where a tornado struck Friday.

Jeff Brady, NPR

Residents of Greensburg, Kan., continue to sift through what's left of their town in the wake of a massive killer tornado that forecasters say was the biggest to hit the United States in eight years.

One more death from the tornado was recorded Tuesday, as a police officer who suffered a head injury in the storm was removed from life support.

Greensburg Mayor Lonny McCullom says the priority right now is getting the utilities turned back on, which means first excavating the poles, lines and meters from under mounds of debris. Then, once the sewer and water lines are working again, FEMA can bring in trailers so residents can return. But that could still be weeks away.

Even agency officials, who are accustomed to seeing disasters like this, seem surprised by the extent of devastation in Greensburg.

FEMA's Dick Hainje notes that the town lost the entire business community, the schools, the courthouse, county and city buildings, and all but a few houses. "That's unique," he says.

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