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Government shutdown would close Fort Pickens
A shutdown would close national parks across the country. Locally that impacts the Gulf Islands National Seashore. That includes Fort Pickens and Johnson Beach.
Monday, the sign in front of Fort Pickens says it closes at sunset, well if the government shutdown happens, there's no telling when it will re-open.
Campers will have two days to pack up and get out. The gates will close at noon Tuesday.
Bob Miller is vacationing here from Tennessee. He said, "I've been looking forward to 7 days on the beach. If I have to move to a motel is a step back if you are staying on the beach. Nobody wants to go home."
This isn't the first shutdown he's been through. Before-he was on the other side, he was a park ranger for 38 years. He said, "I've been through 5 government shutdowns in my 30-some years. Worst was in 95 when we were out for three weeks. We had to go from campsite to campsite and tell them its beyond our control, but you are going to have to leave."
Around 23,000 park employees across the country would be furloughed until congress passes a budget. So what's the plan for local parks? Limited staff will come in Tuesday morning to shut down the park.
It's the not knowing that has campers worried. Harris Meeks also traveled here from Tennessee. He said, "I would be very disappointed, its been more than a year since I've had a vacation."
For people who paid in advance there will be refunds but it may take a little time.