Storm prediction agency scraps furlough plans
June 1st, 2013
05:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Storm prediction agency scraps furlough plans

Washington (CNN) - The federal agency which issued tornado warnings this week has suspended plans for across-the-board employee furloughs that would kick as the summer hurricane season kicks in.

Ciaran Clayton, communications director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the agency is canceling plans to furlough its 12,000 employees for as many as 20 days between July and September, when the federal fiscal year ends.

The cuts would hit the agency amid what their own forecasters announced a week ago is expected to be an above-normal hurricane season.

NOAA announced the cuts earlier this year as a cost-saving measure necessitated by the forced federal spending cuts known in Washington as sequestration.

An internal memo sent to NOAA employees late Friday from agency head Kathryn Sullivan cited recent deadly tornadoes around the Midwest. The memo was published by The Washington Post.

"The events over the past week, including more devastating tornadoes tonight in Oklahoma and Missouri, remind us how important every single employee within NOAA is to the health, safety, and well-being of this nation," she wrote. "I want to thank you all for continued commitment and dedication even in times of danger to your lives, families, and property. The work you do truly is important to each and every American from coast to coast."

The memo said a "new sequestration plan" had been developed and "we are cancelling our intent to furlough all 12,000 of our employees."

In May, NOAA forecasters predicted between 13 and 20 named storms in the Atlantic this hurricane season, which began on Saturday and runs through October.


Filed under: Budget
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Thomas Jefferson

    Yes my friends in the tea party some social programs are good for the country?

    June 2, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  2. kathi

    Its good to hear appreciation for employees again. All we have heard in the past years is how under appreciated and under paid employees are. Time for a change of outlook, I hope

    June 2, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  3. Mercury

    Allowing the Red States to go without "turnader" warnings would represent absolutely poetic justice, veritably, "the Lord's judgement" on Republican hypocrisy.

    June 2, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  4. davidintel

    Finally, the government is talking sense!

    June 2, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  5. Mark

    I am all for rational, well thought out cuts where there is duplication and waste – but these furloughs are obviously not well thought out at all. This sequester is symptomatic of the failure of both parties to work in the best interests of its people – such a shame.

    June 2, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  6. There. Are. No. Gods!

    There should be no such thing as a "furlough" in one of the greatest countries of the world! If these agencies want to keep these people and have them come back as employes, they should not be temporarily letting them go.

    June 2, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  7. harvey conn

    Finally, One smart move. I'm thinking republicans won't scream about this since it's mostly red states that get creamed by Tornado's.

    June 2, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  8. navaJohn

    How's that "sequester" working out for you, GOP? Now every agency we really need has to jump through hoops to work around it. Real good leadership there.

    June 2, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  9. winchester74

    The weather crews should go home. All the bad weather is in states that voted republican and those people need to learn what happens when they vote for self-serving pigs who don't give a hoot for anyone who is not a billionaire.

    June 2, 2013 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  10. Dana

    Why? Oklahoma is the most Republican state. Sequestration is what the Republicans wanted. Government is useless, remember? Taxes are bad, remember? Helping each other is socialism, remember? Give the fools what they voted for. It's not fair to pick and choose to keep this and that only when it becomes salient to the densest that jobs served real functions.

    June 2, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  11. Dana

    Why? Oklahoma is the most Republican state. Sequestration is what the Republicans wanted. Government is useless, remember? Taxes are bad, remember? Helping each other is socialism, remember? Give them what they voted for. It's not fair to pick and choose to keep this and that only when it becomes salient to the densest that jobs served real functions.

    June 2, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  12. Michael J.

    Wonderful. It only takes the deaths of a few dozen people to change the federal government's mind on cutting back on critical government workers.

    Nicely done, federal government.

    June 2, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  13. Anonymous

    "The federal agency that issued tornado warnings last week has suspended plans for across-the-board employee furloughs that would kick as the summer hurricane season kicks in. FULL STORY" Clearly, they meant "kick in", not kick. How can the proofreading always be so bad here? This is the cover story on the website right now.

    June 2, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  14. a slozomby

    if they'd just get rid of the dea and the silly war on drugs ( over 45 years now) we could pay for air traffic controllers and weathermen

    June 2, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  15. Anonymous

    thats all mine

    June 2, 2013 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  16. Everett

    So basically what we are seeing is the sequester has been scraped, and the government is going to do business as usual. Looks like it going to be hard to avoid going another trillion dollars in the hole. Eh, its only money.

    June 2, 2013 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  17. Anonymous

    Abolish the archaic DEA dept. That should save a bundle.

    June 2, 2013 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  18. Cheeseburger

    NOAA is the same agency that said Mermaids were real

    June 2, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  19. Steve

    If a furlough due to sequestration makes the Democrats look bad, it gets cancelled. If a furlough makes the Democrats look like the good guys and the Republicans the bad guys, it gets top publicity. Cut storm forecasters after recent disasters would certainly look bad. But cut White House tours and give that top bidding in the press, why look what happens when the two sides can't get together. The National Park Service runs White House tours and no other NPS facility was closed, and they run right around 400 facilities. Even the free entrance parks are still open. About all that happened to the rest of the parks is that visitor center hours got cut from 9 to 5 to 9 to 4.

    June 2, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  20. korkea aika

    I guess overeager republicans who want to shut our government down now have to explain why we Americans feel the federal gov't is doing a great job in aviation (air traffic) and now weather prediction. Americans look to the government for health and safety since we cannot trust corporations to look out for us. "Patriots" pay their taxes gladly.

    June 2, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  21. John

    Hey when we are in. Trouble government needs to help out granted their should be overwatch but don't cut people off. HomelessNess. Is going to happen just saying people need to be taken care of not coddled,but heaped

    June 2, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  22. Alex

    Of course, with all the new evidence supporting the existence of mermaids, NOAA needs to be as vigilant as ever.

    June 2, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  23. guest

    Seriously, this how we are going to resolve the sequester. Step by step, only restoring jobs to services potentially affecting the 1 % . I guess if those tornadoes had occurred in Detroit the furloughs would remain in tact

    June 2, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  24. MaryM

    Good, they are definitely needed

    June 2, 2013 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  25. worldcares

    You need to hire more people so these people can have a break. The stress factor is worse than Journalism,

    June 2, 2013 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
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