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Gov. Rick Scott questions furloughs as Chantal churns in the caribbean

Black Creek flooding 07-08-13
Flooding near Black Creek during Tropical Storm Debby.
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Updated: 7/09/2013 6:21 pm
CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- The potential threat of Tropical Storm Chantal to Florida comes on the same day as National Guard employees face furloughs, raising concern from Governor Rick Scott.

People who live in the area of Black Creek know all too well the importance of being prepared for a storm.

Homeowner Tom Potts is still making repairs, a year after Tropical Storm Debby left him and his family surrounded by almost seven feet of water.

"We lost about 80 percent of what was downstairs," said Tom Potts, neighbor.

Governor Rick Scott says he's concerned about what will happen to people like Potts if furloughs prevent the National Guard from doing their job.

"Our National Guard is our defense. They are the ones that make sure nothing bad happens after a national disaster," said Governor Scott.

Starting today, nearly 1,000 National Guard employees will be furloughed once-a-week.

Governor Scott along with the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have written a letter to President Barack Obama to stop National Guard furloughs.

"I'm extremely disappointed in the federal government that they are furloughing individuals, because of our safety," said Governor Scott.

Clay County's Deputy Director of Emergency Management, John Ward, says while he does not foresee any impacts in terms of response time the long term effects could be significant.

"Maybe the equipment is not being maintained as it should," said Ward.

Potts says with or without the National Guard he'll be ready for whatever comes their way.

"We're always concerned about stuff like that. We're making preparations ahead of time," said Potts.

According to Ward, if our area does get hit by a significant storm furloughs will likely be waived.

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