Gov't shutdown closes battlefields, parks in Upstate - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gov't shutdown closes battlefields, parks in Upstate

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The gates shut at Cowpens National Battlefield. (Oct. 1, 2013/FOX Carolina) The gates shut at Cowpens National Battlefield. (Oct. 1, 2013/FOX Carolina)
The sign posted at Cowpens National Battlefield. (Oct. 1, 2013/FOX Carolina) The sign posted at Cowpens National Battlefield. (Oct. 1, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

In the wake of the partial shutdown of the federal government, all national parks are closed - which includes several battlefields and other memorials in the western Carolinas.

According to the National Park Service, all 401 national parks are closed. The closure also affects battlefields and historic sites, like Cowpens National Battlefield.

All visitor facilities including the visitor center, picnic area, trail, trailhead parking and roads are closed at the Gaffney battlefield and will remain closed until the government reopens.

According to the battlefield, 750 people visit the park on an average day in October who will now be turned away. Additionally, 14 employees are now furloughed because of the shutdown. There is an employee on hand to provide security and emergency services.

The shutdown has also closed parks like Ninety Six National Historic Star Fort Battlefield in Ninety Six and historic sites like the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock. Part of the Blue Ridge Parkway will also be closed, though the highway will not.

According to the NPS, while the parks are closed, roads used as thruways will remain open.

The closures have also canceled any special events, educational or group tours, and guests staying in hotels and campgrounds were given 48 hours to leave park campgrounds.

The shutdown has canceled planned events across the nation. Groups who paid to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon were turned away Tuesday, according to reports.

And a group of World War II veterans who were in DC for an honor flight had to break through barriers to see their own memorial that was closed Tuesday.

The shutdown has furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees while approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities, according to the NPS.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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