Donald Trump just left Oklahoma residents, who overwhelmingly voted for him, in the dust with his new budget.
In an area that is heavily hit by tornados and depends on forecasters and meteorologists to protect them from extreme weather events, Trump’s new budget will be gutting the National Weather Service.
“For some bizarre reason, the president is proposing to cut 248 forecasters,” National Weather Service Legislative Director Richard Hirn told KFOR.
“Should the public be concerned about these potential staff cuts? I think the answer is yes because – even though you see things coming down the pipe for days, sometimes weeks in advance – even those last few minutes or hours can make a huge difference on the outcome as to what type of severe weather in this particular case that we may receive,” KFOR meteorologist Mike Morgan explained.
The NWS could lose more than 350 staffers, most of which would be forecasters.
“The Trump administration has proposed to effectively eliminate 20 percent of the forecasters or front-line operational employees at the 122 forecast offices around the country,” Hirn said.
According to Hirn, this could mean closing the NWS in Norman during nights and on weekends.
“That office would be closed in the evening and another office, maybe in Tulsa or in Texas, will be responsible for issuing the warnings,” Hirn said.
Weather warnings aren’t the only concern, the National Weather Service data is used by airports to determine safety for takeoff and landing of planes.
“It would be fair to say, I think, if there was any delay of information regarding weather really when it’s inclement weather, that that could have an impact on our operations and our traveling public,” Will Rogers Airport Spokesperson Karen Carney said.
It appears Trump doesn’t even care for his most loyal supporters.