Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on Access to the Weather Channel
Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement calling on DirecTV to continue providing the Weather Channel to subscribers who depend on the station for information critical to protecting themselves and their families from the dangers of severe weather.
During Hurricane Sandy, for example, the reports provided by the Weather Channel and other television stations allowed thousands of people living in parts of Brooklyn at risk of flooding to evacuate or otherwise prepare for the storm. DirecTV has about 500,000 subscribers in the New York City area. As a result of a fee dispute between DirecTV and the Weather Channel, access to the station was discontinued on January 13, 2014.
“Our safety during severe storms depends on access to information, particularly information about necessary safety precautions and, in the worst instances, instructions to evacuate,” said Congresswoman Clarke, a member of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications. “During Hurricane Sandy, the people of Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay depended on reliable information about the impact of the storm, from radio, television, and social media. We have a responsibility to protect access to each of these sources of information.”
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.