Even though the political deadlock that has forced a partial shutdown of the federal government continues, some emergency workers are going back to work to deal with the growing threat from Tropical Storm Karen.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun to recall employees because of the storm heading toward the Gulf Coast, the White House said Thursday.
"FEMA has begun to recall currently furloughed employees necessary to serve functions of the agency that protects life and property as they prepare for potential landfall of Tropical Storm Karen," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a briefing.
According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane watches are in effect from Louisiana to Florida. Karen would be the first named storm to directly threaten the United States this year.
The hurricane center placed Karen 430 miles offshore and moving northerly about 12 miles per hour.
It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.