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Nat’l Weather Service Cuts Could Put Minnesotans In Harm’s Way

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(credit: CBS) Lauren Casey
Lauren Casey joined the WCCO-TV weather team in August 2011, a...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We’ve heard recently about furloughs for FAA air traffic controllers which have been suspended, but there is another agency facing funding cuts: NOAA, which could jeopardize the safety of all Minnesotans when severe weather strikes.

Joe Calderone is an employee organization representative for the National Weather Service. He says fewer employees on duty means a higher likelihood of insufficient warnings.

“Think about what happened in the metro here a couple years ago where we had a tornado go through the north metro – if there was no warning for that,” Calderone said.

The unimaginable may soon become a reality for residents of Minnesota and all across the country as the National Weather Service confronts massive budget cuts – a result of the federal sequester.

“It just came down from our parent organization NOAA that they would like to implement furloughs for all of the NOAA line offices, including the National Weather Service, for potentially up to four days,” he said.

Already contending with a hiring freeze, the proposed furloughs would impact 12,000 NOAA employees, including those at the National Hurricane Center and 122 local weather service offices nationwide.

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