Corps narrowly avoid furloughs, Lake Thurmond park closures

MCCORMICK COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - The Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Thurmond has been stretching the cash they had on hand so they wouldn't have to furlough employees or close parks during the 16 day government shutdown.

The end to the shutdown couldn't have come at a better time because Thursday they were going to start furloughing employees and consider closing parks.

If the partial government shut down wasn't ended in the eleventh hour, Scott Hyatt, the operations project manager for the Corps, says he would've been forced to furlough 32 employees.

He also says by Monday they would have closed their 36 parks to visitors.

"There's a big sense of relief, our guys kept a real positive attitude even though it was very unsettling," said Hyatt.

Lawmakers reached a compromise to fund the government through January as well as allow the U.S. Treasury to keep borrowing money through the first week of February.

That may set the stage for another possible government shutdown after the holidays.

Hyatt says he's hoping that won't happen because he says next time they may not be so fortunate.