News: USACE Galveston District modifies operations during government shutdown
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will modify its operations beginning today as a result of the federal government shutdown for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation.
“We have updated our operations to prepare for an orderly shutdown today, as outlined in the guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander. “The district offices will be closed based on current law regarding a lapse in appropriations and the requirements of an emergency furlough in response to a government shutdown.”
The district will continue to conduct activities designed to protect safety of life and property and will continue to provide the following services:
•Flood risk management operations at the Addicks and Barker structures.
•Saltwater intrusion prevention at the Wallisville Lake Project.
•Lock operations at the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates for commercial vessel passage.
The following changes will be implemented until further notice:
•All district offices will be closed (Addicks and Barker Reservoirs and Dams Field Office, Brazos River Floodgates Project Office, Colorado River Locks Project Office, USACE Galveston District, Northern Area Office, Southern Area Office and the Wallisville Lake Project Office.
•The Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates will cease operations for recreational vessels.
•The Wallisville Visitor Center will not be open to the public. Anyone in the recreation area during the time of shut down today will be allowed to exit and re-entry will not be permitted.
•Gates will be shut to the Trinity River Island Recreation Area and the J.J. Mayes Wildlife Trace.
Approximately 125 employees out of 300 in the district will be placed on an emergency furlough today, which means that they will be placed in a non-duty, non-pay status for the duration of the lapse of appropriations or until recalled to support excepted activities. Additional employees are expected to be furloughed daily as fiscal year 2013 carryover funding is depleted.
The Department of Defense’s contingency plan for a federal government shutdown is available at www.defense.gov. For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.