Gloomy Cloud Cover Shuts Down Washington

gloomDon’t expect quick processing of your Social Security check today. Agencies throughout the federal government have closed in response to heavy cloud cover over the city, preventing the sun from shining and threatening rain. “All federal empoyees, with the exception of essential employees and national security personnel, are instructed to stay home during today’s extreme weather event,” Kevin Longley, director of personnel management for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement today. “We expect federal agencies to resume normal operations tomorrow, although if current conditions persist, we expect to issue a revised update calling for a second day of closure.”

Both the House and the Senate are closed as well, with all but essential staff directed to stay home. “The Speaker of the House has revised today’s calendar to include postponement of scheduled legislative activity until further notice,” said a statement released this morning from the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). A similar statement was released by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

capitolSchools throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, which typically track their schedules closely to the federal government, have closed for the day as well. It’s the sixth closure so far in 2014, and parents are not happy. “It’s a cloud cover,” says Lita Morgan, a mother of two children in the Fairfax County School District. “Luckily, my employer has closed, so I can stay home with my kids. But this is ridiculous. And worse, all of these missed days will have to be made up at the end of the year.”

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Photographic_silhouettes_of_people#/media/File:Contre-jour_talk.jpg

Major gloom

“I don’t remember school ever being closed because of cloud cover,” says Hanson Bleen, a Washington accountant who grew up in Lansing, Mich. “Snow, rain, cold—it didnt matter. We always went to school.” Local officials throughout the region have been scrambling to accommodate the unusually heavy cloud cover, which has cast a grey pall over the area and pushed the temperature down to just above 50 degrees.

“It’s a little dark, it’s a bit chilly, but we think we’re well prepared for these conditions, even if they persist through tomorrow,” says District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray. “We’ve learned from the last time we had heavy cloud over. We have people on standby as needed. Everything’s ready to go.”

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015QW4BYM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B015QW4BYM&linkCode=as2&tag=daily031-20&linkId=3FTCWCUDJIET6Z5WTerrence Clouster, a professor of psychology at George Washington University in the District, says heavy cloud cover can dampen anyone’s mood but for people with seasonal affective disorder, it’s more than just a downer. “We always see a big spike in prescription drug use when the weather turns like this,” he says. “Crisis hot lines can expect more calls from depressed people. Emergency rooms will see foot traffic climb as people come in with vague feelings of discontent. Hopefully conditions will be like this only for today, because the longer it goes on, the more people get affected by it.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the cloud cover is pushing in from the Northeast but is expected to clear by 8 a.m. tomorrow. If that’s the case, schools in the region are likely to open without delay tomorrow. “We are anticipating it to be a regular school day tomorrow, ” says Norton Smith, superintendent of the Fairfax County School District. “Of course, we’re prepared to revise that if we need to, but that’s where we are right now.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously

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