National Weather Service in LA tracking storms without pay amid government shutdown

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Even with the partial government shutdown, meteorologists at the National Weather Service are still at work and will be covering the incoming storms in Southern California.

A storm system is set to hit the Southland late Friday night, and residents will see more rain well into next week. The meteorologists at the NWS are tracking multiple systems around the clock, despite it being day 21 of the shutdown.

"During the storm, every work station will be occupied with people and lots of phone calls and briefings and watching the radar closely as we start to put out any type of watch or warning," said NWS Meterologist Eric Boldt.

The NWS Los Angeles will double their staff for the upcoming winter storms. Employees will be working overtime but all without pay until the government reopens.

"It's without a paycheck on time, but we do anticipate we'll get paid later on. So it's not something we dwell on too much because we know our job is important, and we will continue to do that everyday," said Boldt.

Boldt insists the L.A. office is continuing to provide forecasts and warnings essential to safeguarding lives and property. Although, he admits the research side of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent agency of the NWS, has been delayed.

There's concern in the science world that real progress is being lost on future weather predictions. Furloughed government scientists aren't allowed to even open a work email.

"In this period of fiscal uncertainty, our workforce is deployed. Standing the watch and committed to supporting the mission. Despite the current laps in appropriations, your devotion to duty remains steadfast," said Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the commandant of the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard station at Channel Islands Harbor is fully staffed and operational, ready to assist during the upcoming storm. But about 75 percent of the Guard's civilian employees are on non-paid furlough because of the shutdown.
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