The federal government has canceled plans to furlough National Weather Service employees in the summer.
The Department of Commerce found a way to shift spending and cuts to avoid forcing weather service employees to take time off, said Kathy Sullivan, a spokeswoman.
The furloughs had been part of the agency's plans for accommodating budget cuts required under the federal sequester. Each weather service employee would have taken four days off in July and August.
In a recent email to staff, Sullivan announced the decision to rescind the furlough plan.
The agency has made a number of trims to stay within its budget, she said — a hiring freeze, limits to travel and training and reductions in grants and contracts.
Still, a tight rein on the budget will be needed to make it through the summer, she said.
Representatives of weather service employees had raised alarms about the proposed furloughs, saying the plan had the potential to unduly strain staff in severe weather, raising the possibility that performance could be compromised.
In announcing the elimination of the furloughs, Sullivan pointed to this spring's deadly weather.
Tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri have served as a reminder, she wrote, of the importance of the agency in protecting public safety.
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