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Lake Mead property owners forced out until shutdown ends

Jacqui Heinrich

Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Lake Mead property owners forced out until shutdown ends

CREATED Oct. 4, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The government shutdown is being felt close to home for some locals. They say they're being forced out of private homes on Lake Mead because they sit on federal land. 

Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. They've been spending most of their time in the family ice cream store since going home isn't an option.

The Spencers never expected to be forced out of their Lake Mead home, which they've owned since the 70s, but on Thursday, a park ranger said they had 24 hours to get out.

"I had to go to town today and buy Ralph undershirts and jeans because I forgot his pants," Joyce Spencer told Action News.

The Stewart's Point home sits on federal land, so even though the Spencers own their cabin outright, they're not allowed in until the government reopens.

Park officials said property owners can visit only to retrieve belongings; they sent Action News a statement which reads in part, "Unfortunately overnight stays are not permitted until a budget is passed and the park can reopen."

Joyce Spencer said she's alright in the meantime, staying with nearby family, but the move was a lot to handle as a senior citizen.
 
"I had to be sure and get his walker and his scooter that he has to go in," Spencer said. "We're not hurt in any way except it might cost me if I have to go buy more pants."
 
The Lake Mead properties are considered vacation homes; one of the lease requirements to own a plot is people must have an alternative residence.
 
Regardless, the Spencers said it's their property and they should be allowed in, shutdown or not.

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