PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Workers at Norfolk Naval Shipyard headed home early Tuesday after receiving furlough notices.
The furloughs are one of the visible effects of a government shutdown.
"I showed up for work as normal, ready for a productive day, and was handed a letter at about 20 after 7," said Bruce Lowe, a furloughed employee. Lowe says he plans to pick up odd jobs like cutting lawns and bartending to make up for the lost money.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday Pentagon lawyers are looking for ways to make more employees exempt from those furloughs.
An automated message on the U.S. Coast Guard Finance Office's phone line says, "Due to a lapse in government appropriation, supervisory and exempt employees only should report for work."
That's similar to the message on the Coast Guard Training center's voicemail in Yorktown.
Commissaries were open Monday to sell perishables but they will be closed Tuesday. American commissaries overseas will remain open.
Right now current disability and pension payments are safe -- but if the shutdown drags on for weeks the funding could run out by late October.
VA hospitals will be up and running but veterans call centers will be shut down.
Some federal programs that are self-funded will not be affected like social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the United States Postal Service. Food stamps will continue to be distributed, but W.I.C. -- the supplemental program for women, infants and children may lose funding.
Traffic will also be impacted by the shutdown. According to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s department Facebook page, Colonial Parkway between Jamestown Road and Route 199 will be closed during the government shutdown. That road belongs to the National Park Service -- which is closed.
"We are from the Kansas City area," said Norma Phillips, a tourist trying to visit Historic Jamestown. "And it will probably be the last time I am ever here."
Other locations affected or closed by the shutdown include the following:
- Historic Jamestowne
- Yorktown Battlefield
- Great Dismal Swamp
- National Forests
- Blue Ridge Parkway Facilities
For a list of closings and hours of locations at Naval Station Norfolk, click here.
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