At midnight Tuesday, much of the United States government will shut down if Congress cannot agree on a temporary government spending solution.
A government shutdown would force all national parks, museums, and monuments to close. That includes six in South Carolina. Fort Sumter National Monument park superintendent Tim Stone says federal employees will be designated as either “essential” or “non-essential” in the event of a shutdown.
“We’ve identified three essential employees and the rest of the park staff here will receive notice of being furloughed and we will go home,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
Fort Sumter National Monument’s closure also impacts other Charleston-area parks Fort Moultrie and the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. Meanwhile, Congaree National Park in Columbia, Cowpens National Battlefield in Cherokee County, Kings Mountain National Military Park in Blacksburg, and Ninety-Six National Historic Site in Greenwood County would also close.
“Our job is to preserve national parks and make them available for visitors. But if there’s no funding for us, that’s just the way it is,” Stone said.