Hawaii shoppers stock up before commissaries close

Hawaii shoppers stock up before commissaries close
Published: Oct. 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2013 at 11:21 AM HST
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Pearl Harbor Commissary Tuesday morning - Image: Samantha S. Tello
Pearl Harbor Commissary Tuesday morning - Image: Samantha S. Tello

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - Furloughed federal workers in Hawaii are feeling the pinch from the government shutdown. Military families are also scrambling to stock up before Hawaii's commissaries close on Tuesday night.

Dave Dawley headed to the commissary after being furloughed from his job as a contract specialist at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

"We got up early this morning, showed up at work in order to be given a letter telling us to go home. So we basically cleaned up the office, shut down the computers, and wait for a phone call," said Dawley.

Hawaii's four commissaries are trying to sell off perishable items before shutting down at the end of the day. Shoppers rushing to load up faced long lines.

"It's wrapped all the way around the building and back over here into the vegetable department so it's pretty long. Even for hurricanes and tsunamis, I've never seen it this bad," Dawley said.

"There were people restocking and there's lots of produce and hopefully they can get it sold before tomorrow," said Navy sailor Jenny Barrett.

Commissaries outside the U.S. (including Guam and Puerto Rico) will remain open during the shutdown to serve American troops and their families stationed overseas.

Over at Pearl Harbor, families cheered the return of the USS Chung-Hoon from a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific, but the sailors are concerned about the dispute on Capitol Hill. Members of the military are still being paid which offers some relief.

"We still gotta support our families and it's not good to not get paid. Nobody wants to not get paid," said Pete Martinez, a sailor on the USS Chung-Hoon.

"We leave those decisions up to our policy makers in Washington, so for the time being, we don't know any more than what you see on the news and hopefully it will be resolved soon," said Cmdr. Justin Orlich.

Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui said state leaders are closely tracking the possible impacts.

"We're still doing the assessment phase right now. We've been in touch with budget and finance and you know of course our congressional delegation and so it's going to be important that Congress tries to resolve this issue sooner rather than later," said Tsutsui.

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