A log blocking a trail at the Jones Bridge gate in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Source: Facebook

It’s Thursday Oct. 17 and Rudy Everson is back to work as the information officer for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

He’s been furloughed since Oct. 1, like most of the park’s staff, due to the federal government shutdown. The U.S. Congress voted to end the shutdown on Oct. 16.

Everson said crews have been reopening the park gate-by-gate in order to get it ready for visitors.

During the furlough period, the parks weren’t cleaned and debris accumulated. At Jones Bridge in Johns Creek, they found a tree that had fallen on one of the park’s trails.

“We haven’t been here for two weeks,” Everson said. “We have to go in and check and make sure there’s not a problem like that.”

Everson said he’s glad he’s back on the job.

“It feels great,” he said. “It’s great to be back. It’s good to welcome people back into the national parks.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com