Hurricane watches are now in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass, Fla. It’s not yet clear how strong the storm, Hurricane Karen, will become as it moves toward the Gulf Coast. But even though the federal government is shut down, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is getting ready to respond.
In a statement Thursday morning, FEMA said it has begun to recall furloughed employees “necessary to serve functions of the agency that protect life and property.” This is happening in accordance with the agency’s shutdown contingency plan. FEMA’s Hurricane Liaison Team in Miami’s National Hurricane Center was reactivated Thursday morning.
But not every weather agency is up and running. Here is where we would typically give you some information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But its website, NOAA.gov, is currently down due to the shutdown. Ready.gov, a site that helps Americans set up plans for disasters, is not updating during the shutdown.
Despite the shutdown, FEMA is doing more than just getting ready to respond to a possible hurricane. The agency has enough employees on hand to continue its flood-relief efforts in Colorado and its work helping areas of Oklahoma hit by a tornado in May. Part of the reason is that funding for these efforts comes from the Disaster Relief Fund, which isn’t currently affected by the federal government funding lapse.
But FEMA can’t just do everything during a shutdown. On Wednesday, a congressional hearing about the agency’s emergency alert system took place. No one from FEMA was able to attend.
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Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs."
As unbound delegates pledged to Ted Cruz watch him "struggle to tread water in a primary increasingly dominated by Trump, many of them, wary of a bitter convention battle that could rend the party at its seams, are rethinking their commitment to the Texas senator."
"The confrontation between debt-swamped Puerto Rico and its creditors is intensifying as the U.S. territory will default on payments due Monday, deepening the island's financial crisis and placing additional pressure on Congress to intervene." The amount of the default is estimated at $422 million.
Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."
"Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July."