Government reopens, parks do too

Government reopens, parks do too

CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE - More than two weeks after the government shutdown congress has made a deal to reopen the government and all national park employees are back to work.

National parks across the country reopened Thursday. Funding was cut when the congress couldn't reach a deal to keep the government open on October 1.

In Eastern North Carolina multiple National Parks closed at that time, including the Croatan National Forest and Cape Lookout National Seashore. The closure lead to a majority of park staff being furloughed.

"We had a total of 45 employees and 41 of those were furloughed," said Wouter Ketel, Assistance manager for the National Seashore. "There were four staff left over during the furlough to take care of the park."

Those staff were law enforcement and a maintenance worker. All non-essential employees were furloughed. That includes the parks superintendent among many others.

During the 16 day shutdown, visitors who rented out cabins on the seashore had their trips canceled. Park officials say those people did get refunds. Cabins rented from October 17th onward are scheduled as normal.

Visitors to the park were glad to see it reopened.

"Well it didn't effect us until abut 2 days ago when we came to the national seashore and it was closed," said Chris Kelsey, whose family of five is visiting from Durham. "I got kind of upset at congress at that point."

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