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On the same day Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he didn't understand why furloughed federal workers would use services such as food banks, two Metro Nashville agencies are stepping up to help those affected by the government shutdown.

Nashville Electric Service announced Thursday it is extending furloughed workers' bill payments for 30 days. Metro Water Services will not charge impacted workers late fees or disconnect their water service due to nonpayment.

In a statement, Nashville Mayor David Briley said, "No one’s livelihood should be leveraged to make a political point. Families shouldn’t have to worry about keeping the lights on or having water to drink as a result of such an unnecessary shutdown."

NES customers affected by the shutdown should call 615-736-6900 to speak to an NES advisor about payment options.

Metro Water customers affected by the shutdown will need to bring a photo ID and furlough paperwork to MWS Customer Services Center at 1700 Third Ave N. or call 615-862-4600.

Many local and national businesses are also offering help to furloughed government workers. Rover is keeping a running list, which can be found here.

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