The federal government could shut down Oct. 1 if Congress does not reach a compromise on the budget.
What does that mean for Lake Okeechobee?
In a Sept. 29 media call, Savannah Lacy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District, said even if the government is shut down, essential workers needed to protect against imminent threats of flooding and dam safety issues will continue to work.
The lock tenders, the water managers and the staff who inspect the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike will continue to work through the shutdown, she explained.
“It will be very limited operations throughout the shut down if that occurs,” she said.
If the government shuts down, all employees are furloughed, Lacy said. Some will continue to work but will not receive paychecks until a budget deal is reached.
Following a previous shutdown, a law was passed that allows backpay to occur automatically once a budget is approved, she explained.
She said emergency operations workers will continue to work as USACE continues to watch potential hurricane threats in the Atlantic.
“We’re keeping a watchful eye on the tropics,” said Lacy.
“An emergency event can change the occasion on what staff is potentially on board,” she explained. “We can recall folks required to meet the mission for an emergency.”