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Rings Resurface in Wreckage of Kansas Tornado

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Emma Faye Hargadine survived the tornado that destroyed Greensburg, Kan., but lost two rings precious to her. But family members used a garden rake to pick through the debris ... and they found the rings.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now here's an update on a woman who was farming for diamonds, in this case the sentimental value was greater than the sale price.

Emma Faye Hargadine is a resident of Greensburg, Kansas. Her town was largely destroyed by a tornado. And when we found her last week, she was standing in the ruins of her home, looking for two diamond rings.

Ms. EMMA FAYE HARGADINE (Resident, Greensburg, Kansas): When I'm with my mother's diamond ring that she gave to me, it's close 100 years old. And the other diamond ring was from my husband who passed away in '70. And so they're both very dear to me.

INSKEEP: That was 80-year-old Emma Faye Hargadine, speaking last week. Now we wanted to know if Ms. Hargadine and her children found those rings, so we called back.

Ms. HARGADINE: We had sheet-rock on all the ceilings and we had insulation in the attic. And they - that all fell when the roof came off of the house. And so they got a garden rake and they got down on their hands and knees and they sifted through all of that.

INSKEEP: And somewhere in that mess they located both diamond rings. Her sons also tracked down a pair of scratched glasses and another item of interest.

Ms. HARGADINE: My dentures were found in the bathroom where they should've been.

INSKEEP: Emma Faye Hargadine says she may not return to help rebuild Greensburg, Kansas. She says that might be too might stress at the age of 80. But other residents say they want to come back, possibly by rebuilding Greensburg as a green city, with energy efficient buildings.

And over the weekend, residents gathered for their first church service since the tornado.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) ...his presence on holy ground. We are standing in his presence on holy ground.

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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