Thousands of Portland workers furloughed by shutdown

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by Kyle Iboshi, KGW Staff

KREM.com

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 6:38 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- For thousands of federal employees in Oregon the government shutdown isn't just politics, It is personal.

That's because it means that many workers are not getting paid.

"Work will keep piling up. Emails will go unanswered. Phone calls will go unanswered. And we'll try to catch up when we get back," said Paul Koprowski of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Koprowski is one of many furloughed federal workers in the EPA's Portland Office.

The doors were locked at several federal offices in Portland including the Department of Interior, USDA, GSA and EPA.

Oregon's only national park Crater Lake was closed. Rangers also shut down Fort Vancouver. "We're optimistic that we're going to be back and the serving the public," said Park Ranger Robert Gutierrez.

The Oregon Employment Department reports that there are 27,700 federal employees in the state. The department was anticipating 5,000 to 6,000 federal employees will apply for unemployment as a result of the government shutdown. Those employees will have to be out of a job and waiting for at least a week before they can receive any benefits.

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