Skip to main content

The grim pictures coming out of the Deep South are just incomprehensible to me; being someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, we normally don't get that kind of stuff out here.  My heart goes out to those who were affected by the deadly twisters, and their friends and families as well.

As with any other tragedy, both natural and man-made, we will in the coming months all debate and work on how we could have lessened the blow and better informed people.  weatherdude did a fantastic job summarizing the event in his diary earlier today.

The sad fact is, more people would have died if the House Republicans had their way with the NOAA and NWS FY2011 budget.

The original House Republican FY2011 budget would have cut funding for the NWS by 14% annually.  Since they were proposing this at around halftime for FY2011, this would have effectively been a 27% cut for the rest of the year.

Considering what the NWS does in terms of homeland security, their budget is pretty darned lean; about $900 million.  Most of this money is spent on the 4000 or so forecasters and technicians that man the 122 offices nationwide.  As a result, there wouldn't have been much "fat" to trim before they had to start cutting staffing.

So, effectively what would have had to happen, according to the NWS Employees Organization, would have been rolling month-long furlough closures of 1 out of every 4 NWS Forecast and Warning Offices across the country.  

For example, the Birmingham Forecast Office may have been closed yesterday if the House Republicans had their way.  Neighboring offices such as Mobile and Atlanta would have had to cover Birmingham's warning responsibilities...with no additional staff.  This in addition to their own warning responsibilities.

There is no doubt this staff shortage would have reduced the average 24-minute lead time the NWS has had on their tornado warnings.  This would have given families less time to head to the basement or to a tornado shelter.  Sadly, the 250+ person death toll we see today almost certainly would have been quite a bit higher.

But, you know, as Speaker Boehner likes to say,

"So be it."

Need I remind everyone the Tsunami Warning Center would have been furloughed too?  Just sayin'.

"So be it."

Democrats and sensible people in general need to call Republicans and Tea Party idiots out for their irresponsibility.  There's a reason why 5-year olds aren't allowed to drive a car; so there's no reason why we should let 5-year old minds run our country.

Poll

Have you ever seen a tornado with your own eyes?

78%26 votes
21%7 votes
0%0 votes

| 33 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for reminding me about this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri

    It had sort of leaked out of my mind for a while.

    Great.  Let's defund the NWS and see how many people we can kill.

    Thanks for the reminder...

  •  great take on this, SeaChange (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaChange

    tipped and rec'ced and passed along.   thanks!

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 03:10:53 PM PDT

  •  and yes, i've seen a tornado (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    an actual (later reported) twister on the ground.  not yet very large (still white color) and traveling across the field in front of our home.    my heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible, horrible 2011 season.  

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 03:14:09 PM PDT

    •  Any tornado is scary. (0+ / 0-)

      I saw mine in San Francisco, of all places.  I was driving by the airport and saw the funnel drop down out of a dark cloud very clearly.  I thought it was just a funnel cloud, couldn't see it touch the ground.  But sure enough it did damage to a bunch of warehouses and was rated an EF-1.  Nothing compared to this though.

      We actually had one (a strong EF-2) in a town called Aumsville in December, just east of Salem, OR.  It was a direct hit through Main Street.  Blew apart a brick building...I was awestruck when I say the damage with my own eyes.

      I have a lot of respect for you all that deal with this on a regular basis.

      •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

        one of my stories involves living in Connecticut.   i worked in a printing plant and kept going out the back door to check the sky.  everyone thought i was nuts.  sure enough, the sky turned that deathly green color and the weird silent, still, air was present.   i said, you know, there's a tornado in that and i'm leaving, now.  again, jokes all around about what a wuss i was.  i left, and sure enough the next day's headlines were along the lines of, "Tornado hits XXX by surprise."   right.  it was no surprise to this Midwesterner!  

        many stories, as all Midwesterner have!

        tornadoes can form anywhere.   this diary is extremely timely and trust me, i'm going to be passing it along to a lot of liberal Democrats tomorrow.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 04:04:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and btw... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri

      Thanks for the kind words!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site