ROANOKE, Va. – On Monday, 800,000 federal employees returned to work for the first day the government has been fully open this year.
"We’re excited. We're excited to have the staff back in place," Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway executive director Audrey Pearson said.
Maintenance crews are also back at work, with a growing list of work to do on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“There’s still trees that are covering parts of the parkway," Pearson said.
Pearson hopes that, now, crews can finally start clearing roads that have been covered with trees for months.
"Since that time, we've had an uptick in people who want to help, which has been awesome," Pearson said.
Crews, with the help of volunteers, may not have enough time to clean it all up though, with another potential shutdown looming, just three weeks away.
"It’ll be like an NBA game. You know, spot each 100 points and just play the last two minutes. Nothing's going to happen till the very end of this 21-day period, but I don't see it ending with an agreement," 10 News political analyst Dr. Ed Lynch said.
Lynch said he's almost certain another shutdown is on the horizon, but if lawmakers do reach another stalemate, President Donald Trump will use executive authority to fund his promised border wall.
"There is no way this matter ends without a wall being built," Lynch said.