WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is recalling employees idled by the government shutdown as the U.S. Gulf Coast braces for Tropical Storm Karen, the White House said on Thursday.
Karen formed in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Thursday. Forecasters said it could become a hurricane before hitting the U.S. coast between the Florida Panhandle and Louisiana.
"FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees necessary to serve functions of the agency that protects life and property as they prepare for potential landfall of Tropical Storm Karen," White House spokesman Jay Carney said at a briefing.
FEMA said in a statement it had activated its Hurricane Liaison Team at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The statement did not say how many workers were being recalled. A FEMA official said 86 percent of the agency's 4,300 permanent employees were furloughed.
The U.S. government has been shut down since Tuesday in a standoff between President Barack Obama and Republicans in the House of Representatives over a landmark 2010 healthcare reform law.
(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal and Ian Simpson; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
Trending On Reuters
A Nepali police team has pulled out the bodies of about 50 people, including some foreign trekkers, from an avalanche-hit area, officials said on Sunday, as the death toll from last month's devastating earthquake climbed to over 7,000. Full Article | Graphic
- Monsoons could bring disease, a second crisis, to Nepal - UNICEF
- Insight - Soul-searching over quake ends Everest climbing season
- Video: Relief goods for Nepal quake victims held up, remote areas awaiting aid
- Pictures: Nepal struck by a devastating earthquake
- Video: U.S. ready to provide more support to Nepal, says Kerry
Free medical for in-laws helps Indian tech start-ups woo talent back from America Full Article