Federal parks and offices in Hawaii back open - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Federal parks and offices in Hawaii back open

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The government shutdown is over and federal employees in Hawaii are busy catching up on 16 days worth of work.

The 35 furloughed workers are back at the Pearl Harbor visitors center getting the memorial and everything that goes with it ready to reopen Friday morning at 7:00 am.

"We are so relieved and so happy to be welcoming people back. It was a tough two and a half weeks for all of us, for our community, our visitors and we're just joyful to be able to open the doors tomorrow morning," said Eileen Martinez, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopened today at 6:00 am. The Macfarlane family from Scotland was the first visitors in and not a moment too soon.

"They fly out tonight and go back to Scotland on the red eye so they were ecstatic the park was open. They were smiling and asking questions like what can't they miss and they were planning to spend the whole day here so that was heartwarming to encounter them this morning," said Jessica Ferracane, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Public Affairs Officer. "I have never seen this park steamier than this morning. It was like Pele was welcoming us back with her wonderful steam. It was just magnificent."

The federal Department of Agriculture is catching up on a pile of mail from farmers and has statistical data to gather and finish since October reports were canceled.

"It's like water going down the river. You start, the water goes down and we need to catch up to it and it will take time," said Mark Hudson, Hawaii Agricultural Statistics Director with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Many of Hawaii's National Guard members can expect to train two weekends in November to make up for the lost time in October.

"This government shutdown has complicated their lives because they need to let their employers know, they need to let their families know when they will be attending weekend drills and they have not had that kind of predictability," said Lt. Col. Chuck Anthony, Hawaii National Guard Spokesperson.

The federal workers can expect to get back pay for the shutdown time off.

 

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