Local meteorologists among those affected by partial government shutdown

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National Weather Service Wichita National Weather Service Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

While many are enjoying the Christmas holiday, some government workers are worrying about their next paycheck.

The National Weather Service office in Wichita is one of dozens across the nation still operating despite the government's partial shutdown. 

"We're still going to be here issuing watches and warnings," meteorologist Roger Martin said.

Martin joined us for an interview via Skype. Because of security measures that are in place during the shutdown, he gave us a quick look inside the office from his cell phone.

Martin is one of the meteorologists here who offer a vital public service. In addition issuing weather forecasts, the government considers these men and women essential for protecting life and property. They're in charge of issuing watches and warnings and providing vital information to airline pilots and boaters.

"We do want people to rest assured that we'll still be here. There's not going to be a lack of warnings. We're still always watching," Martin said.

But they're among the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who don't know when they'll receive their next paycheck. They're being told it won't come until the shutdown is lifted. 

Just like air traffic controllers and TSA agents, they're considered essential to the nation's operation and security. They are required to keep working regardless of the shutdown and how long it lasts.

We checked with the president of a local government employees union. He says a lot of workers in Wichita are still waiting to learn how the shutdown will affect them. He hopes to have more answers when government offices re-open Wednesday.
 

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