States missing emergency helicopters due to Iraq.

ABC News reports today that “some Plains and western states have few if any helicopters on hand to respond quickly to a disaster.” For instance, “Nebraska’s contingent of Blackhawk helicopters are deployed in Iraq, leaving few aircraft for disaster relief missions at home.” Wyoming and Texas — Vice President Cheney and President Bush’s respective home states — are the only states in the region not facing significant shortages, with equipment levels around 70 percent.