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Flooded walkways, full trashcans: Here’s how govt. shutdown affects SC’s national park

Congaree National Park open to visitors during federal shut-down

National Park Rangers have not worked at Congaree National Park since the Federal Government shut down on Dec. 22, 2018. While the gates to the park remain open and people are free to hike and camp, the visitor's center is closed.
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National Park Rangers have not worked at Congaree National Park since the Federal Government shut down on Dec. 22, 2018. While the gates to the park remain open and people are free to hike and camp, the visitor's center is closed.

As the federal government shut down enters its second week, Congaree National Park in Hopkins remains closed, according to the park’s website.

Though visitors can still make their way to South Carolina’s only national park, non-emergency services will not be provided, according to documents from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

According to the National Park Service website, restrooms, trash collection, facilities and road maintenance will not be provided through the duration of the shut down. Trash cans on Thursday were full but not spilling over like others seen around monuments on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall.

The park’s website will also not be updated to reflect current conditions. Portions of walkways across the park remain inaccessible because of heavy flooding.

Park officials ask that in case of an emergency, hikers call 911 for assistance.

The National Park Service will also not be issuing permits or holding educational programs during the shutdown. Check-in or check-out services and reservation services at the park campgrounds will also not be provided, according to the Department of the Interior.

Employees at the park will continue to provide essential services, such as protecting federal lands and property inside the park, activities to protect the public health and upkeep of the power distribution system, according to the Department of the Interior.

Thursday, the new House of Representatives passed a bill that could end the government shut down, but due to the fact that funding for a wall on the Southern U.S. border was not included, officials expect a veto from President Donald Trump. That veto would launch the shut down into its third week.

Emily Bohatch is a breaking news reporter for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.


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