Greensburg, Kansas was hit by an EF5 tornado, the most powerful and devastating storm in American history (destorying 95% of the city).
At 9:45 p.m. CDT on May 4, 2007, Greensburg was hit by an EF5 tornado. The tornado was estimated to be 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in width and traveled for nearly 22 miles (35 km). Ninety-five percent of the city was confirmed to be destroyed, with the other five percent being severely damaged. The National Weather Service estimated winds of the tornado to reach 205 mph (330 km/h). This was the first tornado to be rated EF5 since the update of the Fujita scale. The tornado had caused EF5 damage to at least one well-built home in Greensburg, and also is the first “5” classification since May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, as part of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. Tornado sirens sounded in the city twenty minutes before the tornado struck, and a tornado emergency was issued, which undoubtedly saved many lives. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and President George W. Bush both declared Kiowa County a disaster area, which opened up the affected areas for national and international aid. The Greensburg tornado was almost the same size as the Cactus, Texas tornado on April 21, 2007.