Military communities across the country, after listening to the warnings about steep budget cutbacks for months, are now bracing for impact as furloughs for roughly 650,000 civilian Defense Department employees kick in this month.

Officials at military bases and other DoD facilities will have some flexibility in scheduling days off. But the furloughs will nevertheless result in non-essential civilian workers missing one paid workday a week — a roughly 20 percent pay cut — over the next three months.

Virginia’s Hampton Roads, which encompasses the massive Naval Station Norfolk, is expected to be among the country’s hardest-hit communities — considering it has 14 military and Coast Guard facilities. Roughly half the regional economy is tied to the Defense Department.

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