KS Nat'l Guard Equip In Iraq Hampers Tornado Relief


Via CBSNews.com:

Paramedic Annette Gasten and her German shepherd, Greta, had a grim weekend searching amid the piles of wreckage left by one of the strongest tornadoes to rake across the Plains.

Every business on Greensburg's main street was demolished and officials estimate as much as 95 percent of the town was destroyed. Tree trunks stood bare, stripped of most of their branches. All the churches were destroyed.

At least eight people in this community of 1,500 were dead, putting the state's total death toll at 10. No one was found Sunday in the debris.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday evening that the state's response will likely be hampered because much of the equipment usually positioned around the state to respond to emergencies — including tents, trucks and semitrailers - is now in Iraq. Read more...

This is just another example of how the extended occupation of Iraq has left us more vulnerable at home. Imagine if the ferocious F-5 tornado that hit Greensburg had hit a major city. A sad side note to this tragedy, 4 troops from Ft. Riley, Kansas and a reserve police officer were arrested for looting cigarettes and alcohol from a local Greensburg store. Apparently, they weren't part of any official detachment and it's not clear why they were there.

If you'd like to help the victims of the Greensburg tornado you can make your donations to the Red Cross or The Salvation Army .

UPDATE: A survivor has been found in the rubble.

UPDATE II: Kansas is not the only state feeling the loss of their National Guard troops


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