Skip to comments.F-5 tornado wipes out 95% of Greensburg, KS (Dem. Gov. blames cleanup effort on Bush & Iraq)
Posted on 05/07/2007 5:53:35 AM PDT by bw17
By Associated Press
Monday, May 7, 2007
Greensburg, Kan. 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 Greensburgs 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 states total death toll at 10. No one was found Sunday in the debris.
Even though I have been to other disasters, this one was a lot worse the amount of damage, Gasten said. It is such a large area that was destroyed that it made it difficult to search.
Residents were to be allowed back to their homes Monday morning, giving rescuers a better idea of whether any missing residents might be buried under rubble.
Since the tornado hit Friday night, emergency responders have had little indication of how many people in this south-central Kansas town of 1,500 may be safely staying with friends or relatives, rather than in shelters.
Only residents will be allowed back into town. Law enforcement officials will be checking identification and compiling a list of people whose whereabouts still havent been determined. Residents must leave by 6 p.m.
Fresh search and rescue dogs will be brought in Monday from Missouri as the hunt for possible survivors and bodies continues across a landscape dotted with mounds of debris, some as deep as 30 feet.
The National Weather Service classified the Friday night tornado as an F-5, the highest category on its scale. The weather service said it had wind estimated at 205 mph, and carved a track 1.7 miles wide and 22 miles long.
The twister is the first classified as an F-5 since May 3, 1999, when a tornado killed 36 people in Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999. It is the first F-5 since the weather service revised its scale this year, in an effort to more comprehensively gauge tornadoes damage potential, with less emphasis on wind speed.
The Greensburg twister late Friday was part of a storm front that also spawned tornadoes in parts of Illinois, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Nebraska, though most damage elsewhere was minimal, officials said.
In western Oklahoma, at least eight homes were destroyed, several more were damaged and one person was injured. A woman was trapped when her mobile home was blown off its foundation in Seminole in Seminole County but she was rescued and was shaken but not hurt, said sheriffs dispatcher Terry Thomason.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday evening that the states 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.
Not having the National Guard equipment, which used to be positioned in various parts of the state, to bring in immediately is really going to handicap this effort to rebuild, said Sebelius.
Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the adjutant generals office, which manages state resources during emergencies, acknowledged the strain.
We are never at 100 percent because we are allocated a certain amount from the National Guard Bureau. With the war, we are much shorter than we would be. We have about 40 percent of what is allocated, Watson said.
She said the state has a shortage of heavy equipment transport trailers, pallet-sized loading systems, Humvees, dump trucks and other large equipment that would be help move massive amount of debris.
Where have I seen this before?
....And just who is head of the state of Kansas?...........
It hasn't even happened yet and already it's a problem. Give it up already, lady. Sheesh.
Kansas—I know you’re a red state. Get rid of this useless piece of trash next time around, won’t you?
Tornados in Kansas? When was the last time that happened? You can't expect the state and local governments to be prepared for very rare events.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
Blank-o? Is that you? Oh wait, this is Kansas.
Great! Our governess will prove to be an embarassment to us, the same way Lousiana’s governess has been.
Nobody can waive a magic wand after an F5 tornado and everything instantly be clean and new again regardless of a state of war or not.
Her efforts to politicize a natural disaster are shameful. But since she’s a Democrat I guess she has no shame.
Kansas Politics Ping
How does a Democrat win a governorship in Kansas anyway?
Ping. Your first-hand commentary is needed here, please.
The Mayor has promised to rebuild Greensburg as Vanilla city.
Sebelius’s voice sounds like Hillary too.
Oh, don't you know, jeeps, back loaders, pick up trucks and bulldozers are a part of the Federal responsibility. It's right there in the Constitution.............
Would someone in Kansas please put a man in charge.
“Sebeliuss voice sounds like Hillary too.”
Would that be the NY Hillary, or the Southern Black Hillary?
MSNBC.com has photos of the damage.
If only Karl Rove had pointed his weather machine in a different direction.
I was born and raised in Kansas, and the good citizens of Kansas will not appreciate the Governor’s political bent during this time. Even Senator Pat Roberts was acting like an idiot, saying this wouldn’t be a Katrina. I wish these people could turn off the politics and just be human.
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