Forgive Greensburg residents if they’re a tad jumpy this spring and early summer.
It wouldn’t merely be because of the massive EF5 tornado that wiped out 95% of the Kiowa County seat in 2007. Another 10 tornadoes struck Kiowa County last year. Only Gove, Sheridan and Trego counties in northwest Kansas recorded more.
If Kiowa County has another double-digit year for tornadoes this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if a bit of the Codell Syndrome sets in.
Tornadoes hit in or next to Codell on May 20 three years in a row: 1916, 1917 and 1918. While the twisters didn’t destroy the north-central Kansas town, they did shatter its spirit. Spooked residents fled the thriving farm community and transformed Codell into a ghost town.
If Greensburg and Kiowa County were to endure a third straight year of bombardment by tornadoes, I couldn’t blame folks there for gazing at the skies with bewilderment – and pondering a change of address.