Government shutdown delays major cleanup on Blue Ridge Parkway

Maintenance crews furloughed since Dec. 22

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – As the government shutdown continues, so do the impacts on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Parkway has taken a hit since the shutdown started Dec. 22, with limited emergency services and no visitor services like public information, restrooms, trash collection or facilities and road maintenance.

Volunteers, like Audrey Pearson, with Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, are trying to pick up the slack, but they can't do it all.

"We have sections that are closed that will not be open again that were closed prior to the shutdown because of weather," Pearson said.

Ice and snow storms in November and December knocked down lots of trees, especially in Floyd and Roanoke Counties. These sections of road have gone untouched because maintenance crews can't work during the shutdown.

With no end in sight, Pearson fears the problems will only get worse.

"Trails will start to feel the effects if there are trees that get blown over trails. We just want to make sure it's not getting abused and people need to follow the 'leave no trace behind' rule," Pearson said.

Click here to see Blue Ridge Parkway closures.

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