Politics

Hensley Lake closed due to government shutdown

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially closed down its parks Sunday at 6 p.m. The closure includes four federal parks in Central California, including Hensley Lake. On Sunday Park rangers informed the few families that were at Hensley Lake they would have to leave.

"We didn't know if we wanted to come up here because we didn't know if it was going to be closed down or not. So we just took a chance and came," park visitor Rosa Linda Miranda said.

Unlike the national parks that closed on the first day of the government shutdown. The U.S. Army Corps of engineers was able to temporarily operate its parks with funding carried over from the previous year. But much like the shallow waters at Hensley Lake that funding quickly dried up.

"Campgrounds will be vacated at 2 p.m. and the rest of our facility will be closing at six," Park Manager Carrie Richardson said.

Those enjoying their Sunday on the water had to cut their trip short.

"I saw people leaving I thought it was time for us to go. I thought they were going to kick me out so I just left," Park Visitor Hector Hernandez said.

Hector Hernandez of Madera frequently brings his family to the lake and was disappointed with the closure. But even with signs warning visitors about the closure many were still caught off-guard.

"I just got here, I had no idea about the closure," Park visitor Daniel Alonzo said.

Those with campground reservations will be fully refunded. But many say they want the government to get its act together.

"Hopefully they will fix it I hope. I hope for them. They like it," Hernandez said.

Hensley Lake is one of 10 federal parks in the state that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed down on Sunday. The parks will remain closed until the government shutdown concludes.

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Tags:
madera county, hensley lake, budget battle, politics, carlos saucedo
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