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The National Weather Service is just one of many government agencies that have been hit by the government shutdown that started last week. However, how its staffers sent a message to Washington on Friday is helping the agency get some extra attention. An Alaska forecast featured a secret message that didn’t take the Internet too long to crack: ‘Please pay us.’
According to CNN, an official forecast sent out at 9 a.m. Eastern on Friday for Anchorage carried the headline “Analysis and Upper levels” and looked like a standard forecast from the agency. However, if you put together the first letter of every line from the forecast, it reads “P-L-E-A-S-E-P-A-Y-U-S” or “Please Pay Us.”
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) October 5, 2013
Employees at the National Weather Service’s Anchorage office have refused to comment on the message.
The Alaska Dispatch reported that the office has received “a lot” of phone calls about the message, but don’t seem very happy that it is the only reason why people are contacting them. “Since we’re in the shutdown, we can only address questions that deal with current weather and forecasts, so at this point, that’s all you’re going to get,” a man, who said he was the office’s lead forecaster, told the Dispatch.
Since the government shutdown, as many as 800,000 government workers are in danger of being furloughed. However, as Reuters notes, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has called back 350,000 civilian defense department workers, a move made possible thanks to the Pay Our Military Act signed by President Obama.