WASHINGTON — The government Shutdown has put a strain on National Parks, including the C and O Canal. Fletchers Cove along the Potomac River has a huge problem with flood debris, but volunteers are coming to anchor the call for help on Saturday.
"We had floods in May, we had floods pretty much every month. And the last two kind of really put the nail in the coffin for access here," said Dan Ward. He's the assistant manager of the boathouse, which rents all kinds of outdoor gear.
Ward said that because of the government shutdown, the National Park Service Chesapeake and Ohio Canal has not been able to clear the roads that lead to the main parking lot. Piles of logs still clog the gravel road.
Friday, Ryan Jenkinson showed up on his lunch break to get the clean up started.
"Since the government had a shutdown, I heard you guys needed some help here at Fletchers Boathouse, so I decided to show up with a big chain saw," said Jenkinson. He lives in West Virginia, but loves this place, because it's home.
"I love it because I actually grew up across the river and when I was 8 years old I actually use to swim across the river and get hot dogs and drinks here as a child. But we don't want to let my parents know that," Jenkinson added.
There's even a fishing rock out in the river named for Ryan. "It's a great area to do some fishing in the spring time, great group of people it's just a great place to come and get out of DC for a second," Jenkinson said.
People who feel the same way will be here Saturday morning, doing what the Park Service was supposed to do. But, there's a lot to do. The picnic area is non-existent. It's an area the size of a football field has a layer of huge logs and trash covering it.
The work gets started at 7:30 a.m. All are welcome, but dress for hard and messy work.
During the shutdown, the restrooms at Fletchers Cove have been locked. Organizers are hoping they can a key for those restrooms with the government re-opening, but don't count on it.