Strapped National Guard Hampers Tornado Cleanup

By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2007 9:09 AM CDT
Army Spc. Chris Daugherty of the Kansas National Guard carries a flag from a tornado-damaged building in Greensburg, Kan., Tuesday, May 8, 2007. The 1.7-mile-wide Category F-5 enhanced tornado, with wind...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The National Guard was slow to respond to the Kansas tornado because much of its equipment is in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times reports, and sniping between the state and federal governments echoes the Hurricane Katrina fallout. The Kansas Guard has only about half the vehicles and heavy machinery it normally would, and many other states are in similar straits.

Kansas' Kathleen Sibelius, one of many governors who have warned of potential shortfalls, traded barbs with the White House this week. Though both sides have backed off and the Greensburg cleanup is in full swing, government and military authorities in other states worry that the overextended Guard may not be able to mount an adequate response to the next crisis.