South Florida seemingly unaffected by government shutdown

Airports, ports open; National parks close

SOUTH FLORIDA - The federal government shutdown isn't having a big effect on South Florida quite yet.

While Transportation Security Administration agents worked Tuesday, travelers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport worried about a lack of leadership.

"I really don't know how it's going to affect me and that's what I'm worried about," said Mark Richardson.

It was regular operations at Miami International Airport and PortMiami, but federally funded programs like Head Start, public housing, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program could be affected the longer the shutdown continues, said Miami-Dade County spokeswoman Vanessa Santana-Peñate.

"Similar to sequestration, the real impact is the affect the shutdown has on the economy. If people aren't getting their federal subsidies and federal employees are furloughed for any length of time, spending will slow down," she said in a statement.

The FBI field office in Miami remained open, issuing a statement saying: "FBI employees in the field are exempt from the government shutdown furlough because they are needed to continue national security operations and investigations of violations of law involving protection of life and property."

But Everglades National Park closed at 6 p.m. after Katy Dimos gave her last tour of the day for Shark Valley Tram Tours.

"It's going to be extremely hard. We have mortgages, we have bills to pay and no paychecks," she said.

"The people that should be getting paid are the workers, and the politicians who are making this mess shouldn't be paid," added Larry Gaspar, who was visiting the park. "May be they could straighten it out if they didn't get a paycheck once in awhile."

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