Hagerman Wildlife Refuge faces flooding on top of government shutdown

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GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - The Hagerman Wildlife Refuge is facing some flooding issues from all the rain. They've had to close several roads and expect to close more.

But it's not the only problem they're facing.

"We were hoping it would snow so we could get snowflakes in our pictures."

Hilary and Kirk Roberts were out braving the cold rain and taking wildlife photographs at the refuge Thursday morning.

"I love wildlife and nature," Hilary said. "That's what launched this. I stated shooting hummingbirds, now I shoot a little bit of everything."

The refuge has been forced to close their the visitor center, which usually sees about 40 people daily this time of year, and cancel classes due to the 13 day government shutdown.

But the two hadn't seen much of an impact on the trails.

"There's always a lot of people out here," Hilary said.

But with continuing rains, the refuge is facing a double whammy with flooding.

"With the lake still coming up, the water has gone over Wildlife Drive," said Wildlife Refuge Manager Kathy Whaley.

Several roads are now closed due to the rain. By 2 p.m. Thursday, the main road was also shut down.

"It's not a very fun time right now for visitors or employees," Whaley said.

A law enforcement officer was keeping an eye out to make sure nobody drove across the flooded roads.

"All the employees other than myself and a law enforcement officer are furloughed until the shutdown is over," she said.

Locals can still hike and fish.

Whaley said she hopes to see normalcy back at the refuge-- sooner than later.

Parts of the refuge are still open but you are urged to use caution.

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