Economic Downturn

Economic Downturn at Hampton Roads

The ship repair industry in the Hampton Roads area, Virginia will lay off more than 1,000 employees at a time when Congress is trying to approve the new national budget. The Virginian Pilot newspaper reported that at least 1,000 layoffs will be carried out for this industry and some have already begun. The head of the Virginia Ship Repair Association, Bill Crow, said layoffs were mainly due to the federal government’s budget which would expire on Friday, and the failure to approve the new national budget with sufficient funds for the maintenance of Navy ships. Crow said, without additional funding, the Hampton Roads ship repair industry could lose around $ 180 million. He also added that shipyard executives knew, even though without Congressional funding problems, the contracts that would be given by the navy to shipyards at Hampton Roads would be far below their total capacity.

The American Congress is getting closer to an agreement to fund the government until the end of September, but is still preparing for the possibility to extend the deadline midnight Friday if that is not achieved. The step was taken to complete negotiations and avoid the possibility of a government operation being stopped. The one-week extension will give prominent members of the Republican and Democratic faction “a little breathing space” to complete negotiations and present their plans to spend around 1 trillion dollars throughout the rest of the fiscal year to members of Congress, said a member of parliament who was aware of the talks. Negotiators race against time to resolve the remaining disputes regarding a large budget draft law.

Besides that, the Florence Storm began to hit the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday with strong winds and heavy rain. The National Hurricane Center l said Florence had caused a life-threatening tidal wave and strong winds to the coast of North Carolina. Florence moves inland at a speed of 9 kilometers per hour. Weather experts estimate up to 101 centimeters of rainfall in parts of North Carolina and tidal waves as high as 4 meters, higher than most homes.

According to the Hurricane Center and the rainfall will cause dangerous flash floods and a large overflow of river water for a long time. Tornadoes are also expected to occur. The Pentagon has sent two ships and a unit of Marines offshore to provide assistance if needed. The Department of Defense has also moved most of the ships, submarines and planes out of bases at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to safe places deep in the sea or at distant air bases. Rescue helicopters and trucks that can operate on the floodplain were also alerted.

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