BACK TO WORK: Saylorville Lake & Camping Open

The shutdown forced all of the federally managed campgrounds to close, including the ones run by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Clifford Britton is hard at work.

“Just cleaning up getting ready after the furlough,” says Britton a contracted employee through the Army Corps.

Britton helps maintain the grounds at Prairie Flower Campgrounds.

Since the first Britton’s been on furlough, waiting for the call that the shutdown is finally over.

“We had to be here just like this when they said we`re opening up at 8 or 9 this morning we had to be here to open up the buildings and be ready to go,” says Britton.

Saylorville Lake Operations Manager Jeff Rose says the Army Corps employees 20 full-time people.  They spent Thursday morning removing all the barriers and opening the gates that have kept everyone out for over two weeks.

Rose says then it’s on to a list of items that were put on hold.

“There are a lot of administrative things to catch up on we had a lot of contractors they weren`t getting paid either so there was a lot of logistics with our contracting that has to be taken care of.  Just a lot of general catch up,” says Rose.

With many of the campgrounds already closed for the season, employees are now trying to winterize everything.

Rose says his employees are happy to be back to work, and are hoping it’s for the long haul.

“We love our jobs out here we love providing a service to the public but we all know this is just a temporary deal so we are hopeful we don`t have to go through this again,” says Rose.

Campers agree, and say they’re glad the shutdown ended when it did.

“We had the reservations for Thursday, Friday and Saturday so it worked out fine for us,” says Larry Peters of Grimes.

Britton is hoping more people take advantage of one last weekend of camping, before Prairie Flower closes for the season.

“We have some reservations on the posts but we do have plenty of room if anybody wants to come, ‘we`re ready for them,” says Britton.

The Army Corps says all the parks and boat ramps are also back open.

On top of Prairie Flower at Saylorville Lake, campsites are also still open at Lake Red Rock in Knoxville and Shady Creek in Muscatine.

All the rest have been closed for the season.

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