CHINQUAPIN, DUPLIN COUNTY - As the sequestration deadline nears, families of civilian workers at military bases are preparing themselves for the possibility of furloughs.
The automatic cuts set to hit Friday, March 1, would force 800,000 civilian workers to take one day of leave per week without pay.
Locally, more than 8,000 on-base employees at MCAS Cherry Point, MCAS New River and Camp Lejeune would take the pay cuts, that amount to about 20% of their income, over a period up to 22 weeks.
Brandy McNerney, of Chinquapin, works part-time at Camp Lejeune while raising thre kids. Her husband, Shaun, is a full time civilian Marine Corps police officer. The family received an email detailing when they should expect the furlough to take effect.
"We pulled in a little over $40,000 last year," Brandy McNerney said. "It's looking like $4,500 to roughly around $8,000 that we would lose. That's a huge chunk."
McNerney said it would be difficult to find a way to budget the loss of funds. She is considering using government assistance if the times get too tough.
"We don't want to be put in that position, but unfortunately something like this might push us there," McNerney said.