Schumer concerned about proposed cuts to weather satellites

Schumer Opposed To Weather Service Cuts

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — The weather was on the mind of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) when he came Buffalo Monday.  He is upset with proposed cuts passed by the House that will hurt the National Weather Service.

"Down to the minute forecasting can mean the difference between an evacuation or an all clear," said the Senate Minority Leader.

Cutting money for weather satellites which allow warnings to be given can be critical.

The House passed a budget which includes a $369 million dollar cut to weather satellites.

Schumer says it makes no sense.

"With the weather changing and an increase in flooding in WNY and upstate NY increasing, heavy rains the way we have not seen, in many years, we need these satellites," he said. He continued: "it makes no sense to cut this key federal resource that goes to upgrading, repairing and replacing our essential satellites."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz weighed in on the matter.

"Investment in this type of technology not only can, but will save lives," he said. 

Sen. Schumer is also pressing for answers on why the warning system seemed to fail the day four tornadoes touched down in the Buffalo area on July 20.

Krista Furgala received an alert, although she wasn't home when the tornado hit.  However, she says her neighbors did not until the damage was done.

According to meteorologists at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service, there was a severe thunderstorm warning issued at 12:31 p.m. and it was upgraded to a tornado warning at 12:36 p.m.  However, the first tornado hit around 12:30 p.m. 

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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