CNRA forced to send campers home after gov't shutdown

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SULPHUR, OK -- More than one million people visit the Chickasaw National Recreation Area every year.

But Park officials say that number may drop this year after the government shutdown forced all national parks to close their doors.

Superintendent, Bruce Noble, says the shutdown not only affects visitors, but the staff as well.

"It is gonna have an affect on us as individuals because all of the people that are gonna be furloughed, including me, we have no guarantee that we will ultimately be paid during the time we will be shut down," Noble said.

Noble says 43 members out of 50 have been furloughed, and left work at noon Tuesday.

He says the park will be shutting down over the next two days with all facilities and services shut down by Thursday.

"We're not going around to leave the park, but as people do leave, we'll be going around erecting barricades and closing roads," Noble said.

Since most of the park staff has been furloughed, some services like water won't be available to campers, which forces them to leave sooner rather than later.

"I'm frustrated," camper, Jack Rogers, said. "I'm frustrated with the government not knowing. If they knew this was going to happen, they should have made plans, and made plans prior not wait until."

Rogers and his wife spend six to eight months out of the year camping at national parks, and says he doesn't know if they can continue on to their next destination, another national park in Corsicana, Texas.

"Don't know where i'll be tomorrow. I think i'm just going to head home," Rogers said. "I'm frustrated and headed home to Texas."

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