Furloughs at NOAA, National Guard are among federal officials’ hurricane season concerns

MIAMI (AP) — Furloughs required by the federal budget cuts known as the sequester are among the concerns worrying state and federal officials as hurricane season begins.

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Friday that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees will be receiving furlough notices next week. She says furloughs are “the last thing we should be doing” during the Atlantic hurricane season.

Wasserman Schultz also said the National Guard technicians that maintain equipment deployed during disasters face 11 furlough days this summer.

The director of the National Hurricane Center says he doesn’t know yet how the furloughs will affect staffing at the nation’s hurricane forecasting hub. Rick Knabb says those concerns will be addressed agency-wide.

The six-month hurricane season begins Saturday.

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