Unpaid federal workers warn Southwest Florida of approaching storm

01-24-19 uscg rescue (2)

During stormy weather like that in SWFL today, unpaid US Coast Guard personnel still perform rescue operations like this one on Jan. 20 off Bimini, Bahamas. In this case 31 people were successfully saved from a foundering vessel.    (Photo: USCG)

Today is the 34th day of Trump’s government shutdown

Jan. 24, 2019, by David Silverberg

Updated 1:51 pm

As stormy weather closed in on Southwest Florida, warnings were issued to residents and boaters by the National Weather Service (NWS)—whose employees are going unpaid during President Donald Trump’s government shutdown.

At 9:49 am this morning NWS warned of hazardous marine conditions, severe storms and rip currents along the Southwest Florida coast. Tornadoes were possible on the east coast.

NWS, part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, is in the US Commerce Department, an unfunded agency headed by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Asked today about government workers having to rely on groceries from food banks and other charities, Ross told CNBC: “”I know they are and I don’t really quite understand why because as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake – say borrowing from a bank or credit union – are in effect federally guaranteed. So the 30 days of pay that people will be out – there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it and we’ve seen a number of ads from the financial institutions doing that.”

The US Coast Guard, responsible for maritime safety and rescue in such circumstances, is also shut down and its employees unpaid but is still performing lifesaving and rescue operations. It is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Liberty lives in light

 

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