• National Weather Service to see furloughs during hurricane season

    By: Meteorologist Vicki Graf

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In a hurricane, the right forecast could mean the difference between life and death.

    It helps officials decide when people should evacuate and how people should protect their families.

    "If the weather forecasters are not there, how are we going to provide that kind of information?" asked Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization.

    Budget cuts are coming in the heart of hurricane season.

    Sequestration, the same budget cutting process that caused furloughs of air traffic controllers last month, are about to lead to furloughs at the National Weather Service.

    "We are facing some funding shortfalls through the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30," said Ciaran Clayton with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    NOAA representatives said the plan is to furlough workers for four days in the middle of hurricane season.

    They said if there is a hurricane coming, they will call forecasters back into work.

    Sobien said the money the government saves is not worth it.

    "I think there will be a very large impact on getting necessary information to the people who have to make the decisions or pass along the information that could save lives," Sobien said.


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