Grand Island, NE-- The partial government shutdown has already hit the Grand Island area as some federal agencies are already closed, leading to restrictions on what the public can do and where they can go, and more may be on the way.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Bureau of Reclamation are closed, meaning the public cannot go onto national wildlife refuges and water activities in reclamation areas are banned.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also closed which includes the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Services.
When calling their Grand Island office, this voice-mail message picks up: "You have reached the United States Department of Agriculture. Due to lapse in federal government funding, this field office is currently closed. After funding has been restored the office will re-open. For information about government services, visit usa.gov."
While many agencies have closed since the government shutdown, the VA Medical Center in Grand Island is at no risk of closing due to funds that were previously advanced to the facility.
According to VA Spokesperson Will Ackerman, the VA Healthcare facilities remain open due to advanced funding that goes through September, 2014. However, 16 VA offices, positions, or duties are closed due to the shutdown.
Ackerman said they are still caring for the veterans and are, "very happy to be doing so."
The Women, Infant, and Children program remains open as well. However, without funding restored, that program will also close at the end of the month
The WIC program provides for families that cannot afford food for breastfeeding mothers and children.
The program can stay open with left over money from the previous fiscal year.
However, there is only enough money to keep the program running through the month of October.
Once that time is up, many residents will feel the loss.
"Within our area, like I said, it's about 2,500 individuals and about eight to 900 hundred families affected by this. WIC provides formula for those moms that can't breastfeed for whatever reason and so that's going to be a huge financial issue for some of those growing families that really need help," said Jeremy Eschliman, the Community Health Supervisor at the Central District Health Department.
Some special formulas can cost up to $100 per can.
Eschliman said if the program is closed it would hurt pregnant and new mothers first, then everyone else.
"It's going to have a ripple effect throughout our whole community of grocery stores, pharmacies that WIC clients do business with and so it's going to hurt us all," he said.