As Storm Barrels Toward Gulf Coast, FEMA Recalls Furloughed Workers

Tropical Storm Karen is year's first cyclone
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 4, 2013 3:21 AM CDT
This image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Karen taken late Thursday night, Oct. 3, 2013.   (AP Photo/NOAA)

(Newser) – Tropical Storm Karen is barreling toward the US, and that means a return to work for some FEMA employees. The furloughed workers have been called back with the cyclone due to hit the coast between Louisiana and Florida. Thanks to the shutdown, however, some weather satellite images "may not be up to date," officials say. The system could reach hurricane strength late tonight, CBS News notes. "Our forecast calls for it to be right around the border of a hurricane and a tropical storm," says a meteorologist.

Much of the area is on hurricane watch. With heavy rain on the cards, the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have each declared a state of emergency; 18 Florida counties also face a state of emergency. Before making landfall, the storm looks poised to rattle offshore oil rigs that are responsible for about a fifth of daily US production, Reuters reports. (Read more tropical storms stories.)

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