WASHINGTON – More than 100 crucial gauges that warn of imminent flooding or lack of needed water will soon be shut down, as part of the federal government's automatic budget cuts.
U.S. Geological Survey officials tell The Associated Press that stream gauges will be shut down across the nation starting next month. Some are in the nine states threatened with sudden Spring flooding.
In rivers where flooding is imminent — such as near Fargo, N.D. — officials are scrambling to keep needed monitors working and make the cuts elsewhere.
The agency's chief scientist for water is Jerad Bales. Bales says details are still being worked out, but at least 120 gauges — and as many as 375 — will be shut down because of the cuts. He calls it a safety issue.