Federal government shutdown grinds several services to a halt
Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 10:51 AM -
After it failed to reach an agreement on a new budget by midnight Monday the United States Federal government shutdown its services Tuesday, and in its wake people looking for news and information on weather, science and the outdoors Tuesday morning were greeted with a common message.
The effects of the standstill will be felt by an estimated 800,000 federal workers across the United States, as without the authority to spend money the executive branch on Tuesday started the process of temporarily mothballing facilities and suspending the many services the government provides. At the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, employees were told they cannot work on "any projects, tasks, activities or respond to emails."
The National Weather Service will continue forecasting weather and distributing severe weather watches and warnings, according to an NBC News report. The same is true for the National Hurricane Center and approximately 6,600 NOAA employees will remain on the job.
As for NASA, which currently has six astronauts aboard the International Space Station, the plan is to continue to support the mission, but due to furloughs, or temporary unpaid leave of some employees due to special needs of a company, its workforce will see cuts from 18,000 to less than 600. The agency posted a message on its website outlining the details.
American residents or tourists planning to visit national parks or monuments will need to make alternative plans as all national parks and historic sites will be closed during the shutdown. Some examples include the Statue of Liberty in New York City, which only recently re-opened after Hurricane Sandy forced it to close last year for repairs.
Another casualty of the shutdown is the beloved panda cam at Washington's National Zoo, which has gone dark as a result.
SHUTDOWN BY THE NUMBERS: The U.S. government shutdown affected several services Tuesday. See where and just how many are affected.