There wasn’t a lot of media attention on Reading, Kan., last week, when a tornado touched down on the night of May 21 and wiped out most of the town. The press corps was focused on Joplin, Mo., and Reading (rhymes with bedding) is a small farming community: Approximately 230 people were living in 40 homes; Reading Elementary School only has about 67 students.
By Sunday morning, May 22, about 10 homes were left, some of them partly destroyed. The town’s school had its roof torn off, and its post office, Baptist Church and volunteer fire department were damaged. One man was killed when his mobile home was flipped over.
Jeff Clark, a Do it Best dealer in nearby Lyndon, had been tracking the F3 category tornado on Saturday night. Lyndon Building Materials is the closest lumberyard and hardware store to Reading, and Clark was worried about Reading. “We had customers in that town, and we knew they’d be in trouble,” Clark said. But the Nati