Small Town Continues Rebuilding After Tornado

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The small town of Reading continues rebuilding after an EF-3 tornado destroyed more than half of the homes last year.

"We're looking forward to that moment when you can say, 'There was a tornado here? I don't remember that' or 'It doesn't look like there was a tornado here,'" said Barbara Schlobohm, last July.

The town's public information officer was hopeful then and continues to be hopeful that her town will be completely rebuilt.

Nearly ten months after the tornado, Reading is showing skeptics that small towns can come back.

"Everyone of them could've just walked away, could've said 'I'm done, I'm going to go start over somewhere else.' But they had this love in their heart for Reading," said Barbara.

It is love combined with hard work that is keeping the small town's heartbeat going.

Home after home and building after building, Reading is coming back.

"Reading has begun a major part of their rebuild. Our businesses are all back. The only thing we're missing is the post office," she said.

The town's elementary school was back in session in August with all of its 82 students.

"We did not lose one student. They all came back. Their families moved back. Their families rebuilt. That just shows the excitement that the families have but the students really had the excitement too," said Peggy Fort, principal.

Residents credit those in the Midwest for helping Reading rebuild and are giving hope to other small towns struck by tornadoes.

"The people of Kansas and the surrounding states are wonderful people. They donate, they bring, they send," said Barbara.

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