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NOAA head defends agency after Trump Dorian tweet

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:38s - Published
NOAA head defends agency after Trump Dorian tweet

NOAA head defends agency after Trump Dorian tweet

The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday defended a regional National Weather Service (NWS) office in Alabama that told residents the state was not at risk from Hurricane Dorian.

Nathan Frandino has more.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEIL JACOBS, NOAA'S ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, SAYING: "Weather should not be a partisan issue." The acting administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration defended the agency on Tuesday, amid concerns that it had become politicized during Hurricane Dorian.

The controversy started September 1st when President Donald Trump tweeted a warning for much of the U.S. Southeast, including Alabama.

But the National Weather Service office in Birmingham quickly responded, saying the state would not see any impacts from Dorian.

Days later, NOAA sought to quash the controversy with an unsigned statement.

It suggested the Birmingham office tweet was inconsistent with NOAA forecasting probabilities.

Neil Jacobs, NOAA's acting head, later defended the Birmingham office in a speech Tuesday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEIL JACOBS, NOAA'S ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, SAYING: "What it did not say, however, is that we understand and fully support the good intent of the Birmingham Weather Forecast Office, which was to calm fears in support public safety." Trump, meanwhile, has stood by his original tweet, going as far as showing a dated and altered forecast map of the hurricane.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We had, actually, our original chart was that it was going to be hitting Florida directly.

Maybe I could just see that, Kevin.

It was going to be hitting directly and that would've affected a lot of other states." The map included a black line drawn around Alabama's southeast coast, extending from the actual potential track area that was forecast.

Dorian eventually became a category 5 storm, pummeling the Bahamas where it killed at least 50 people.

The storm then turned north and hugged the U.S. Atlantic coast.




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