Scott: Federal shutdown won't impact preparedness for Tropical Storm Karen
Gov. Rick Scott said the federal shutdown will not have an impact on protecting Floridians as Tropical Storm Karen approaches.
"We're not going to let a federal government shutdown have an impact on our preparedness in the state of Florida," Scott said at a briefing at the Division of Emergency Management Friday night.
Scott said he had spoken to both FEMA Director Craig Fugate and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx for assurances they would be ready "and they said they would be. They're sending down 34 FEMA individuals right now to make sure we're prepared."
FEMA offiicals said they had begun to recall employees furloughed under the federal government shutdown to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen. About 86 percent of the FEMA staff had been furloughed Monday due to funding issues associated with the government shutdown, according to a story from CNN.
Major General Emmett Titshaw said that the National Guard has activated 20 guardsmen to help the state prepare, but he said Friday that "we are fully capable of responding with 8,000 guardsmen to the storm."
On Thursday night, Scott declaring a state of emergency in 18 Florida counties.
The National Hurricane Center took down the hurricane watch Friday night and Scott said no evacuations are planned at this time. The governor said to expect 2-4 feet of storm surge in the Panhandle and up to 10 inches of rain. He warned against rip tides, flooding, standing water and downed power lines.
"At this point they don't see any likelihood of hurricane conditions," Scotts said, but the storm's path is "hard to predict because of wind shear coming across."