Federal Agencies brace for more furloughs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Federal Agencies brace for more furloughs

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Billy Birdwell, spokesperson for the Corp of Engineers in Savannah. Billy Birdwell, spokesperson for the Corp of Engineers in Savannah.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is feeling the effects of the government shutdown. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is feeling the effects of the government shutdown.
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

It is day four of the government shutdown, and some federal agencies are bracing for even more furloughs starting as soon as the end of the day Friday.

Like numerous other federal agencies, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is feeling the effects of the government shutdown. The Savannah District spans up to Augusta and even over to Columbus, Georgia, but most of their employees work at the headquarters in Savannah.

About 130 of their 800 employees are already being furloughed. The number could increase by the end of the day Friday.

Right now, there has not been a major impact on daily operations.

"Our daily activities in the district are continuing," says Billy Birdwell, spokesperson for the Corp of Engineers in Savannah. "We are still issuing permits for our water quality issues and clean water act issues. We are still maintaining the harbor. We are still progressing on with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project."

If the shutdown continues and funding runs out, more employees could be furloughed. Some of those employees could find out Friday whether they'll stay home next week.

"Most of the funds that we are working on now have been appropriated in prior fiscal years. As those funds run out, more people will gradually be furloughed and our operations will slowly come to a hault," says Birdwell.

If the shutdown does continue the most noticeable impact to the public will be on the regulatory division which issues permits.

In the Augusta area, they have already had to cut back on rangers and shoreline activities, and they have closed one of their visitor centers.

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