Guard shortages slow tornado recovery
May 08,2007 00:00 by UPI

WICHITA, Kan. - The clean-up of the devastation left by a tornado in Greensburg, Kan., has been hampered by shortages of National Guard equipment, state officials said.

Much of the Kansas National Guard's equipment, including tractor-trailers to haul debris and carry equipment are in Iraq, the Kansas City Star reported.

A powerful tornado flattened most of Greensburg Friday, killing eight people and destroying just about every structure in town. State officials were turning to private contractors to help clear debris, the Star reported.

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had warned the National Guard wasn't prepared to deal with domestic emergencies because of equipment shortages.

"As you travel around Greensburg, you'll see that city and county trucks have been destroyed," Sebelius told CNN on Monday.

"The National Guard is one of our first responders. They don't have the equipment they need to come in, and it just makes it that much slower."

Other states are supposed to send equipment in emergencies, the U.S. military said. But the Star reported Sebelius was skeptical.

"We can't borrow ... from other states, because their equipment is gone," she said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.