Storm prediction agency scraps furlough plans
June 1st, 2013
05:54 PM ET
10 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.

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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. Data Driven

    "We got 98% of what we wanted." - John Boehner on July 31, 2011, on the sequestration, er, er, the "Budget Control Act".

    This apparently means Boehner, and conservatives in general, are fine with the notion that this storm prediction agency might furlough all their staff during hurricane season. I'm glad NOAA has supposedly found some other way to meet the budget shortfalls, but is this what you want, conservatives? Is this small agency really where all the money is going? Is NOAA really the problem? If so, explain.

    June 1, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. mountainlady

    Excellent. This is a very intelligent and courageous decision in the face of Congress' refusal to act on the sequester.

    June 1, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Doug

    While not furloughing the weather guessers is a good thing, the question still remains; will they furlough civil service cops, firemen, paramedics, and 911 dispatchers who's job it is to respond to emergencies aboard military installations.

    June 1, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. jleoxii13

    common sense prevails, and that is headline material!

    June 1, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. Chris

    Smart move

    June 1, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. GOPSux

    Keep them furloughed.....give the red states the freedom they deserve!

    June 1, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Jack Hammell

    Excellent!! Someone in this administration and Congress that puts the lives of ordinary citizens above the political wrangling and fiscal incompetence of "our" elected officials. Kudos to the head of NOAA!!

    June 1, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Grumpster

    If you want services, you need to pay taxes for them. Rich people don't seem to get that, nor the GOP.

    June 1, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Bill

    What???? You mean the lazy, shiftless, overpaid, underworked, no good for nothing federal workers are actually NECESSARY???

    June 1, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. jr

    If its a RED STATE it ok to spend money? FDA emergency too many cows being slaughtered. everyone back to work.

    June 1, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Just Me

    Thank You from Mayport Fla

    June 1, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Now, if they would only do that for the rest of us.

    June 1, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Bill C

    The sequester is working great!! LOL

    June 1, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  14. Walter

    Another failure with sequestration for Obo The Clown. Oh those laughable libs. No one believes any of you anymore.

    June 1, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. ARTraveler

    If they are allowed to move money from account to account, how did they get permission. While I think the sequestration is stupid and refects on the massive stupidity of the Republican Party, allowing agency by agency to move money but not all is just wrong. Who gave them permission. Do they have enough money in those SPECIFIC accounts to be able to absorb the cuts? If so, why? I think the southern GOTP Republicans who are so cheap on someone else problems, need to see the impact first hand. Let them have a Galveston at Miami or Bilouxi, or Mobile and let's see how smart not fuinding the government properly to do theri work is. BTW, it is time to sell TVA and quit subdizing electric rates in the south. Let them pay market rates for electricity like the rest of the country so the "free market" they love so well can screw them as well!

    June 1, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. Dan

    Tornado alley thanks you. They also wonder if you could give them some more money to rebuild, in advance, just so they don't have to keep asking.

    June 1, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. MATT

    Working people countinue to get screwed, while the government takes your money to buy votes from the lazy and lavish vacations for themselves, while providing fewer and fewer benefits to working citizens.

    June 1, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. John

    all a is found all of a sudden

    June 1, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. charles brandt

    Good to see someone in the Government has some brains and common sense

    June 1, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. reality check

    Surprise surprise, they miraculously were able to make cute that wouldn't impact jobs. I guess Obama realized just how much this one would bite him in the butt.

    June 1, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. snomannn

    Well, we finally found someone more powerful than all the Republicans in Congress........Mother Nature !!!!!!! And, please remember Washington Congress persons......"It's not nice to fool Mother Nature".

    June 1, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. snomannn

    Well, there is someone more powerful than all the Republican Congressmen (and ladies) in's Mother Nature ! And she has had enough of this nonsense. Please remember, "it's not nice to fool Mother Nature".

    June 1, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. snomannn

    Mother Nature is more powerful than all the powers that be in Washington. She has decided you guys are just going to have to cut spending elsewhere.

    June 1, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. stan

    And just where now are the cuts coming from, because they still have to be made.

    June 1, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  25. truth

    well...we need to demand welfare to other countries! our new secretary of state just promised hundreds of millions of dollars to the middle east. mexico is getting millions in aid each year. it's time we divert those funds back to america and reform our agencies!! there's no benefit of diverting our military resources to send troops out in the middle east to deliver books and school supplies. where are the books and school supplies for our children???

    June 1, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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