Government Shutdown-Affected Parks Open Again, Damage Already Do - WSPA.com

Government Shutdown-Affected Parks Open Again, Damage Already Done

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Carl Sandburg Home In Henderson County Carl Sandburg Home In Henderson County
COWPENS, S.C. -

National parks across the country re-opened Wednesday after a budget deal to end the government shutdown, but the 16-day closure of some of the nation's treasures hurt those parks and surrounding communities.

In Cherokee County, furloughed park rangers at Cowpens National Battlefield returned to work.

"We really missed out on touching approximately 3,000-4,000 students in the local areas. So, we're in the process of rescheduling many of those school groups and getting them back out here," Superintendent John Slaughter said.

During October between 700 and 900 visitors per day stop by Cowpens Battlefield.

In Henderson County, rangers at the Carl Sandburg Historic Home spent Wednesday getting back on track. Park superintendent Tyron Brandyburg said they're happy to be open again and hope people who missed out while the park was closed will come back.

Park leaders understand how many people these attractions bring in, and their economic impact.

"[Visitors] are going to spend money on hotels, they're going to spend money on food and they're going to shop a little as well," Brandyburg said.

All services on the Blue Ridge Parkway are back up and running.

Rangers on the most-visited unit of the National Park Service say they're excited to be open for the peak fall foliage season. Though they acknowledge the shutdown period has been extremely hard on gateway communities, neighboring businesses and park partners.

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