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Archive for Thursday, September 1, 2005

Kansas Guard troops deployed to help in hurricane relief effort

September 1, 2005

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today ordered the deployment of more than 120 Kansas National Guard soldiers to Louisiana to help in the rescue of people stranded by Hurricane Katrina.

"We in Kansas have a long tradition of helping neighbors in need, regardless of whether they are in town or across the country," Sebelius said.

The troops deployed are from the 35th Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth. They include personnel from Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Kansas also will be committing two Blackhawk helicopters.

"Our guardsmen and women tell me they are ready to go and do whatever is needed to help the victims get back on their feet," Sebelius said.

Sebelius also noted that efforts to help in the recovery were starting across the state with companies, charities, churches, communities and schools taking steps to help those displaced by the storm.

She also cautioned Kansans to be on the look out for price-gouging at gasoline stations and to report any outlandish prices to the attorney general's office.

"Unfortunately, disasters do bring out the best and the worst in people. The ripple effects of this hurricane are felt here already in the heartland, and already high gas prices are soaring," Sebelius said.

Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general and director of Kansas Emergency Management and Kansas Homeland Security, said about 700 more guardsmen are on standby ready to go if needed.

He said guard leaders across the nation were presenting their inventories of troops and assets so that officials in states hit by Katrina could pick what they need.

"An analogy would be like stocking it on a shelf, and if Mississippi or Louisiana see something that they want, they literally just take it off the shelf and say thank you Kansas.

"We all want to go ... but it has to be in a coordinated way," he said.

For more on this developing story, watch 6News tonight at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband channel 6, and pick up a copy of Friday's Journal-World.

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