Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, said this week that the tornado recovery effort in her state has been limited by National Guard resources being diverted to the Iraq war. She discusses this issue and the White House's response.
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Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has spent much of the past several days in Greensburg, coordinating relief and cleanup efforts from Friday’s devastating tornado. She joins us now from the governor’s mansion in Topeka.
And, Governor, I wonder if you can tell us the latest on the death toll in Greensburg.
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (D), Kansas:
Well, at last count, we had 10 confirmed fatalities in Greensburg and two additional storm-related deaths in two other counties in Kansas. We found a survivor as late as Sunday night, but, unfortunately, we also found two more fatalities yesterday. And I think that’s where it stands right now.
How close do you think you and local officials are to being able to say with some confidence that you’ve accounted for everybody who was in town when the tornado hit, either relocated, injured or, unfortunately, dead?
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS:
Well, I think we’re relatively close. The good news is the local officials don’t have people coming forward saying, “I can’t find my mother, my aunt, my grandmother.” And in a town of 1,500 people, that’s the best alarm system.
Unfortunately, since it happened Friday night and people scattered at night, we haven’t seen everybody from the community yet. So a pretty laborious task is going on, underway try to go say to folks, “Are you missing anybody? Do you have anybody, any friend, any neighbor, any worker who hasn’t shown up yet?” And that count informally is underway as we speak.