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It’s Business As Usual For Thousands Of Md. Federal Employees

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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands of federal employees return to work, and national parks are reopening across the country. Late Wednesday night, lawmakers ended the shutdown after 16 days with a last minute compromise.

Linh Bui talked to federal workers here locally who are relieved to get their jobs back.

Roughly 800,000 federal workers were sent home on October 1. But Thursday (Oct. 17), more than two weeks later, it’s business as usual.

The gates are open at Fort McHenry, and it’s busier than usual.

“We’re just delighted that we can come to Fort McHenry!” said Kenneth Scott Morrell, visitor.

Like other national monuments, the fort closed down during the government shutdown, affecting about 50 employees.

“Overwhelmingly happy to be back open,” said Tina Cappetta, superintendent, Fort McHenry.

Cappetta says they’re busy catching up, as many workers still deal with stress from the furlough.

“Everyone’s relieved to be back to work. And everyone here cares so much about the park and visitors. But still, some of those emotions run high,” she said.

At the Social Security Administration building in Woodlawn, federal workers return.

Across the country, thousands of furloughed federal workers get back to work Thursday after 16 days off the job.

Down the street, City View Bar and Grill took a hit during the shutdown. The vast majority of customers are federal workers.

“Business very slow during the shutdown. Eighty percent, it’s federal workers right here. But now I hope everything comes back again,” said Leon Zaharopoulos, City View owner.

Business started coming back Thursday.

“We’re happy! And we’re celebrating with lunch,” said Marcia Cohen, Social Security Administration.

As essential employees, these social security workers worked during the shutdown, but they only got paid for six days instead of ten.

“It was a big struggle. A lot of people do live paycheck to paycheck,” said Jane Schworm, Social Security Administration.

They’re relieved everything’s back to normal and hope it stays this way.

“It did affect us all. I hope we don’t see that again for a long time,” Schworm said.

The Obama Administration urged agencies to be flexible Thursday, since many federal workers could not return on such short notice.

Standard and Poor’s estimates the shutdown took $24 billion out of the economy.

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