Tornado in Reading: a link between Kansas and Berkshire

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Tornado in Reading, Kansas

Tornado in Reading, Kansas

Dear Revellers,

You may have noticed a lapse since my last post about life in Reading, but there’s a good reason: I went home!

A good friend got married, I met my new niece Katherine and I also saw my brother graduate from uni.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the Heartland has been so lucky these last few weeks. You probably heard about the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri (where my high school marching band visited for a festival back in the day). The tornado killed at least 132 people and left the community looking like a war zone.

Earlier that week, another tornado struck Reading, Kansas. One person died and 20 homes destroyed. It is a devastating situation for a community of 231 people.

According to Wikipedia:

On May 21, 2011 around 9:15PM, an EF3 tornado hit Reading. It was three blocks wide and stayed on the ground for about four miles. The tornado destroyed at least 56 of 110 homes and 14 of 21 businesses. The post office and fire station suffered major damage. One person died and two were hospitalized. Early damage estimates topped $2.2 million.

That is astonishing: two in three businesses were destroyed, and every other home decimated.

Before the tornado, I had never even heard of Reading, Kansas. As the news filled the 10pm news, I felt a connection to our Reading Revellers on both sides of the Atlantic. We are all doing our best to get by and provide for those who depend on us. In times of disaster and vulnerability, we depend on each other for support. I wanted to be at my blog to tell you all in Berkshire of our friends in Kansas who would greatly benefit from your support and prayers.
 
Click here to help the American Red Cross, which is supporting the Reading tornado victims. The best way is to donate directly to the local chapter. You’ll find the local chapter page by searching for Reading’s zip code, 66868.

We are connected. Reading, Kansas, is named after Reading, Pennsylvania, and Reading, Pennsylvania, is named after Reading, Berkshire. We are linked in name and by history. (To find out more, read about the Reading, Pennsylvania, connection here and the Reading, Kansas, connection here.) At the end of the day, we are all Revellers.

For me, home is Kansas. Since living in Berkshire, I have certainly come to enjoy many fine restaurants in Reading, fun fairs in Prospect Park, and more. But it’s always good to take a jaunt down the yellow brick road and remember the sacred fragility of life.

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