Several big East TN facilities open despite shutdown

(WBIR) Several big agencies and facilities in East Tennessee are up and running despite the government shutdown.

At the strike of midnight Tuesday, the U.S. government shut down after Congress failed to reach a decision on a stopgap spending bill.

Although many programs and services are closed locally, the shutdown won't impact the Tennessee Valley Authority because it receives no federal appropriations and is self-financed.

The National Weather Service in Morristown will continue providing forecasts and life-saving information because it's considered an essential service for safety.

At the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, staff is reporting to work as usual. Still ORNL is preparing for potential cuts down the road. ORNL announced a voluntary separation program Thursday to cope with possible budget cuts and uncertain financial standings of government programs. ORNL communications director David Keim said ORNL has not a set a target number of jobs to eliminate, but they asked the Department of Energy to approve a reduction of up to 475 jobs.


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