Aderholt Statement on Proposal to Consolidate National Weather Service Offices
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today released the following statement in regard a bill put forward by Senator John Thune (R-SD) to consolidate National Weather Service offices into six regional offices.
“I have the utmost respect for Senator Thune, however I have to respectfully disagree with this plan to consolidate the country’s National Weather Service offices into six regional offices.
“The district I represent in Congress is one of the most tornado prone areas in the United States. On April 27, 2011 more than 100 people in the 4th District alone were killed by tornadoes. If it had not been for the diligence and dedication of the men and women at the Birmingham and Huntsville National Weather Service offices, I have no doubt the death toll would have been much higher.
“I believe that consolidating offices would lead to some storms slipping through the cracks and ultimately lives would be lost due to missed warnings and missed opportunities to alert the public.
“I believe this would also erode the important relationship between county emergency management agency officials and meteorologists at their local National Weather Service office. As it stands now, an emergency manager can pick up the phone and call someone at their local weather office and talk to someone they know and have a relationship with. Under a consolidation plan, I fear that same emergency manager would just become a cog in the wheel.”
In Washington, Congressman Aderholt serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee; he is also a member of the Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, the Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, and the Helsinki Commission.
For more information about Aderholt’s work in Congress visit: www.aderholt.house.gov.