The Ottumwa Courier

October 1, 2013

Shutdown hits area reservoirs

Ottumwa Courier

KNOXVILLE — The federal government's shutdown will have effects nationally, but there's a limit to how much you can safely close.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates two area reservoirs: Red Rock Lake and Lake Rathbun. As part of the federal government, the corps is affected. In a statement released Monday, the corps said “all activities other than excepted activities,” will cease during the shutdown.

Some minimal staffing is still required. The dams that create the reservoirs are also a potential hazard. The corps said the dams, along with locks along the Mississippi River, will continue to operate normally.

That doesn't mean there are no changes. Campgrounds operated by the corps must shut down, as do day-use parks and boat ramps under the corps' supervision. People using the campgrounds have until 8 p.m. Wednesday to vacate the sites. No new reservations can be made until the shutdown ends, nor can any new visitors take up residence in the campgrounds.

Customers who already have reservations can cancel for a full refund, and those who must leave early can get a partial refund. In both cases, people will need to call the reservation customer service number at 1-888-448-1474.

Park assets that are leased to outside operations, like concessions, can remain open. But they will not receive support from the corps during the shutdown.