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Stockton Lake Campgrounds, Boat Access Closed

STOCKTON LAKE, MO --Pack up and get out. That's the word from the Army Corps of Engineers to campers. This is part of the government shutdown. The Army Corps of Engineers operates Stockton Lake, the surrounding campgrounds and the boat access to the lake.
STOCKTON LAKE, MO --Pack up and get out.

That's the word from the Army Corps of Engineers to campers as part of the government shutdown. The Army Corps of Engineers operates Stockton Lake, the surrounding campgrounds and the boat access to the lake.

Campers heeding the posted notices have until 8 p.m. Wednesday to go. But, local businesses say what was the government's issue is now going to cost them a lot of money.

Camper Brandon Jones and his friends decided to get away to this Stockton Lake campground for vacation. Now, Jones got word from campground personnel the government shutdown might change their plans.

"He told us to go ahead and pick a site and set up camp and come back up and pay," says Jones.  "That he didn't know if we'd be able to stay the second night, because of the government shutdown."

These guys planned to leave anyway. But, now, according to this notice from the Army Corps of Engineers, everyone has to go by 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.

"The rest of the campground was completely full last night," says Jones

No visitors means no business for Stockton Lake Guide Service owner Bob Bennett.

"A lot of people are losing a lot of money," says Bennett.

Jones bought food and bait, but with other campers gone, business may be hurting.

"You have Son Sac up the road here," says Bennett. "That's going to put a hurt on them and that's a family owned business, locally owned."

Bill Cooper and his wife own Son Sac Marine. Cooper usually has the ideal location.

"It's the largest campground on Stockton Lake." said Cooper "Lake traffic, the campgrounds are close by, we repair boats. Now with campgrounds and public access for boats shutting down bottom line is that it's going to reduce the bottom line because our customer base has had to go home because there's no where to camp."

Cooper said they are getting hit twice because people are being forced to leave and now they are staying away.

"We don't know how many people are going to stay home because of this news and not come to the lake," says Cooper.

With barricades and notices, the federal government may have thought of a lot. But, Brandon Jones says they may not have thought through everything.

"If this was a federal campground or however it is," says Jones. "How would they enforce us to leave? So, we weren't going to leave, is the deal."

Electric hookup at the campground has been turned off.

If you try to log on to the Army Corp Of Engineers website you see a blank white page with a few black words that say because of the federal government shutdown, all Corps lakes are closed and Corps webpages are not operating.

Business owners think the closure is unfair to them and the public.
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