Army Corps Of Engineers Says Getting Parks Back Open Will Take Time

Wednesday, October 16th 2013, 10:42 pm
By: News On 6

The partial government shutdown has taken a toll on a lot of agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers.

Campgrounds and parks have been closed since the shutdown started. The Corps is hoping to have those up and running soon.

Even with the House and Senate voting to reopen the government Wednesday night, the Army Corps of Engineers said there are several steps that have to be taken before its recreational areas can reopen.

At Tulsa's Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, workers still on the job were picking up the slack to keep things running.

"It's been a difficult time," said Sara Goodeyon.

Workers hope they can soon remove the signs warning people of closures because of the government shutdown.

10/16/2013 Related Story: Congress Passes Deal To Reopen Federal Government

"It's been kind of a daily process. Everyday, maybe a few more people have been sent home, because we ran out of funding for them," Goodeyon said.

With the House and Senate voting on a deal to end the shutdown, Sara Goodeyon said the Corps is hoping employees can get back to work as soon as possible.

"We do have a recall system that is in place. Supervisors will contact employees that have been sent home during the shutdown and let them know that it is now okay for them to return to work," Goodeyon said.

Once the shutdown is over, rangers will have to thoroughly inspect campgrounds and parks before visitors can return--similar to what they do after severe weather.

"They just want to go around and make sure that all of the electrical facilities are working, that all of the restrooms and those sorts of things are in good condition, make sure that everything is in order for public safety," Goodeyon said.

10/15/2013 Related Story: Corps Of Engineers Permit Offices To Close In Tulsa, Nationwide

If you had reservations at a campsite during the shutdown, you can get a refund online. The only catch is the website is down right now and will likely be down for at least a day after the shutdown is lifted.

"We just ask for their patience, as we go through this time of getting the government back up and running and being able to go through this refund process for them," Goodeyon said.

The Corps has also furloughed employees who are dedicated to giving permits for road projects and other constructions. The Corps doesn't expect a huge backlog for those permits.