Government shutdown affects Newport - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Government shutdown affects Newport

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

There were a lot more cars leaving the Naval Station Newport then there were going in.

In fact 800 employees have now been furloughed.

Workers told us they could not talk to the media.

But former Defense employee Helen Glover worked here 18 years ago, when the last shutdowns occurred.

"We were literally escorted off the base. You know you're doing your job and you're told, 'Get out, get out now. We'll call you!'" said Glover.

The last shutdowns went 28 days and the economic impact was harsh:

"I knew a lot of people that were husband and wife, both employed by the federal government. If you are suddenly without – again you are going to get reimbursed – but who can go 6, 8 weeks without a paycheck if it's suspended that long," said Helen Glover.

Essential employees – including active military, and police - are still on the job.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Now a number of sources have told ABC6 News that all employees here at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center remain on the job because what they do is critical to national defense."

But the pinch is already being felt locally.

"Business has been slow," said Nancy Bishop who operates the popular "Bishop's 4th Street Diner" where many Navy employees often eat.

"They do become like family, so it's very sad when they can't, you know, pay their bills or their mortgages, or they are trying to support their children. You know it's very sad for the whole community," Bishop said.

The longer the shutdown lasts, the worse the economic fallout will be, she added.


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