STUART, Fla. - The impact of the government shutdown is having yet another impact in south Florida. As of noon on Wednesday, federal dollars keeping some local campgrounds and parks open, will run out. The gates here at the St. Lucie Lock campground and recreation area will be locked until further notice because of the shutdown.
A Stuart sunset is what Michigan resident Phil Haines traveled thirteen hundred miles to enjoy. Tuesday's sunset would be his last at the St. Lucie Lock campground as he and his camper were to be ousted as of Wednesday.
Haines was supposed to stay until the end of the week. "I had a kind of uneasy feeling all week," he said. "I didn't know what was going to happen."
All the visitors received their warning Tuesday to be out of the Army Corps of Engineers campground by Wednesday. It is the result of the federal government shutdown, the Corps said.
Christina Faile and her son, Jacob, 9, biked to the recreation area playground Tuesday night.
"I didn't think it was going to affect me at all," said Faile, a Stuart resident. But the part of the Army Corps property she was enjoying will be off-limits as well. Faile tried to put the closure into perspective. "I feel for the people who aren't able to work and aren't getting paid and people who's weddings are canceled," she said.
Three other Army Corps sites west of Lake Okeechobee were also scheduled to be closing until further notice. Campers will receive refunds for any unused portion of their reservations.