'Greensburg GreenTown' founder talks about rebuilding West Liberty

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WYMT-TV) - The Mar. 2 tornado outbreak left most of West Liberty in ruins.

Thanks to members of the community who sponsored his trip, one man travelled many miles tonight to give folks there some encouragement about the future.

The man from Kansa came to show the people of West Liberty that sometimes losing everything can mean you have nothing left to worry about when moving forward. Those from the non-profit Greensburg GreenTown have helped others in their town and in Joplin, Mo. to rebuild with sustainable energy.

“To recover in a creative way that kind of revitalizes the community,” said Daniel Wallach, founder of "Greensburg GreenTown."

The people of Morgan County said they want to begin again.

“Beginning again, that's what this community is doing, that's what you do after a tragedy,” said Wallach.

Hank Allen, the CEO of Commercial Bank and President of the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce said there was a lot which needed to be done.

“There are so many things that need to be rebuilt in West Liberty, in Morgan County because there was just so much devastation and so many structures, homes and businesses that were decimated,” said Allen.

Daniel Wallach, who has raised millions to help rebuild towns destroyed by tornadoes, came to talk about how to do just that with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.

Wallach comes from Greensburg, Ks., a town that was devastated after a 1.7-mile-wide tornado wiped out 94 percent of the town in 2007. He said he can relate to the people of Morgan County because he has seen disaster and wanted to focus on the positives that could come out of the situation. He said he hopes the people of West Liberty can do the same.

“I mean it's a terrible tragedy that happened, but the reality is that every time there is a crisis there is an opportunity,” said Wallach.

Though they have come a long way in just more than five months, experts said they believe it is what they still need to do to thrive...

“The first process was to clean the debris and that has largely been done, there are still some areas that need to be cleaned,” said Allen.
“If there is going to be long term expense savings from doing something that's more efficient whatever it is that's going to provide value for the businesses and home owners going forward.”

The six month anniversary of the tornado outbreak is a little more than two weeks away.

For more information on Greensburg Greentown, just visit www.GreensburgGreenTown.org

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