Seismic network looks to get back to full speed as shutdown ends

Q13 News photo.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Scientists at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) are looking forward to getting up to full speed as the government shutdown comes to an end.

More than half of the field crews that monitor the seismic network in our state were out of work during the shutdown.

Seismic activity was still monitored. But equipment repairs, new monitoring stations, and ShakeAlert Early Warning System work fell behind over the past month, said Mouse Reusch, the ShakeAlert Coordinator for the PNSN.

Reusch said it is “possible” the shutdown caused the seismic network to miss minor earthquake activity. But for the most part it was all accounted for.

Still, with five to six people out of the office during the furlough, it was hard to keep up with everything.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to catch up,” Reusch said.

Along with repairs, funding applications and budgets were delayed during the shutdown. Some federal permitting work “stopped midstream,” Reusch said.

It should take “a few weeks” before all repairs have been made to PNSN’s system.

Around 800,000 federal employees were furloughed during the shutdown.

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