Last two local federal campsites close


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

LYON COUNTY, Ky. - Many local campers have been kicked off their camp sites twice in one week.
Wednesday, Local 6 told you about two federal campgrounds that were staying open.  That's Canal Campground and Hurricane Creek.

The local Army Corps of Engineers Management made the decision to keep those two open.  They had the money to keep operating, and pay their employees for several weeks.  Thursday morning they were told to shut it down, and force all campers to pack up and move out.

Some appear rushed and others, not so much.

But everyone has to go.  Those staying at Canal Campground are trying to make the most of their final night here.

"They're welcome to stay the night tonight, but at noon tomorrow they'll be cleared out, we'll be locking the gates," Army Corp Program Manager Mike Looney said.

With the money to stay open, this isn't what Looney wanted, but what he was told to do.

"There are higher priorities elsewhere and I don't have the luxury of knowing what those are," Looney said.

Some of these people were kicked out of other closing campgrounds earlier this week, they wont get refunds until the government re-opens.  That's why many campers are calling it quits.

"We can do other things, we can go home and work on our garden," one camper said.

The district's 'day use' parks are also closing. Looney said if there's a gate at his park it will be closed, if there's a door, it'll be locked. If you go around a barricade or gate, you assume liability in the event of an accident.

Many outhouses in The Land Between The Lakes have no lights, no plumbing, but a door, a lock, and a note.

It says the outhouse is closed due to a lapse in federal government funding.

Looney said sheriff's departments from various counties will keep a close eye on the empty parks and campgrounds.