Budget cuts will force closure of flood-warning gauges, officials say

 

Sandbags hold back flood waters from the Illinois River in Peoria, Ill. on April 24. (Seth Perlman/AP).
Sandbags hold back flood waters from the Illinois River in Peoria, Ill. on April 24. (Seth Perlman/AP).

The U.S. Geological Survey will close more than 100 flood-warning gauges because of the automatic spending cuts that took effect last month for most areas of government, according to an Associated Press report.

The closures will affect the agency’s ability to warn communities about potential flooding and lack of needed water, officials told the AP.

The so-called sequester will force the Geological Survey to trim 5 percent from its $29 million share of the cost for about 8,000 gauges across the country, the report said.

The agency will shut down gauges at different times in different states, making its decisions after federal and state officials meet to discuss which closures would have the least impact, officials told the AP.

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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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