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Budget cuts could hurt Florida's response to hurricanes

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 02:34 PM CDT
Wind and water are on the minds of emergency managers across Florida --
  
Hurricane season starts *this Saturday..
And Governor Rick Scott is worried that federal budget cuts under the sequester could hurt the state's response to monster storms.

Tim Barry/Weather Service Meteorologist
"It shows pretty much making a landfall right around maybe Mobile next Sunday."

There are seven National Weather Service Forecast Centers in Florida.
In the Tallahassee office, two positions have been frozen because of federal budget cuts...
And it could lose up to four more meteorologists.

Jeff Evans/ Senior Forecaster
"We typically support the emergency management and decision makers all around the region. When they have to make a very significant decision for them, we try to walk them through that make sure they fully understand the threat that's coming."

Cuts are also hitting the Florida National Guard, who are the first responders in an emergency.
The Guard will furlough a thousand people every Monday for the next eleven weeks.

Rick Scott  Governor
"I hope everybody is prepared, but I'm extremely disappointed in federal government in cutting back on funding for National Guard right in the middle of hurricane season."

The Weather Service and the National Guard say they will be there to protect Floridians no matter what.
But emergency managers say the cuts will make it more difficult for them to do their job.

Mike DeLorenzo/Florida Deputy Emergency Management Director
"It may have some impacts on long-term recovery if the furloughs continue. Naturally, we're concerned, but we feel they'll do the right thing when the time comes."

Governor Scott plans on writing Washington with his concerns...Budget cuts could hurt Florida's response to hurricanes


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