The Woodward News

Local News

October 2, 2013

Shutdown having some effect locally

Woodward, Okla. — For those who don’t know how they will be affected by the governmental shutdown, it can be hard to make plans.

While the shutdown was considered active beginning just after midnight on Tuesday, it is still considered a partial shutdown, according to U.S. government officials.

That’s because some offices will be totally closed, while others will be offering limited services, officials said.

The Postal Service, since it is a self-sustaining business, will remain open and be performing all normal services, according to officials with the U.S. Postal Service.

Those who had any plans to visit the USDA Southern Plains Research Station will have to reschedule. The station will be closed until the government reopens, said Southern Plains Research Lead Stacey Gunter.

According to Gunter, there are two positions with the station that are exempt. One akin care of the cattle and another who cares for the facilities and the research cops that need to be tended.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Corps of Engineer officials Fort Supply Lake officials announced that Corps managed camping sites and recreations facilities would be shut down until the government reopens. That includes Canton Lake camping facilities, said Canton Lake Manager, Cathy Carlson.

However, the same as Fort Supply, those who wish to access the boat ramp can do so.

“They can come out and sightsee and picnic and if they are hunters, they can access the public hunting area we have set up here,” she said. “If they want to camp while they hunt, there is a designated primitive camping site on the public hunting area - pack out what you pack in - that they can camp on.”

Social Security offices in the region, to include Enid, will be open only for claims services.

“We are taking no applications for Social Security cards or benefits,” said an Enid Social Security official.

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Fort Supply Lake shut down its and camping sites as of Tuesday morning, said chief ranger Don Underwood.

"Actually we are going to be in shut down procedures for the next couple or three days," Underwood said.

“A temporary closure of our recreation facilities as part of the temporary government shutdown is very unfortunate. The Tulsa District remains committed to providing exceptional recreational opportunities in the future,” said Tulsa District Commander Col. Richard Pratt.

Those who have reservations on which they have already paid can call the main Corps of Engineer number at  1-888-448-1474 (TDD 1-877-833-6777). According to Pratt, all customers are entitled to a refund if they have reservations that have to be cancelled due to the shutdown.

Underwood said reservations at Fort Supply Lake are only taken through the last portion of September.

"So that shouldn't be a problem here," he said. "We usually start going on a first come first serve basis starting in October."

The park is required to be physically shut down, but there will still be access in some areas, he said.  

According to Underwood, the boat ramps will still be open and access to the lake will still be available, but there will not be any safety officials available if an emergency occurred.

"If someone needs help while they are out there, they will have to call the Woodward County Sheriff's Office," he said.

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