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Federal workers hopeful government will remain open for longer than three weeks

(Source: KGBT Photo)

The government may have reopened, but many federal government workers felt the hard impact of the shutdown.

"One week it wasn't too bad. Second week, people started worrying. Third week and then, as we came upon missing a second pay check, that's when it became very serious," Mike Castillo, who works for the National Weather Service Office in Brownsville, said.

That's how many federal government employees describe what they call a stressful reality of the government shutdown.

"I've dealt with some shutdowns, but not to this extent. I mean, this was a historic shutdown and we've never had to go so long without pay," he added.

For 19 years, Castillo has worked for the National Weather Service office in Brownsville. He says he's never experienced a shutdown like this.

"We're limited during the shutdown. We only provide essential services and so that means we are not able to do the normal programs that we normally do year-round," he explained.

A shutdown that not only created a stressful atmosphere at home but also in the workplace, with limited resources available during the shutdown.

Castillo says if his wife didn't make an income, his family would've been hit harder than they already have.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a bill to reopen the government for 3 weeks, ending 35 days of the shutdown which left 800,000 federal workers without a paycheck.

"I hope this is a temporary continued resolution. I'm hoping by the end of the 3 weeks that we'll have a permanent funding," Castillo said.

Despite going through 5 weeks of the shutdown, many say they are grateful to see the community's support during this period and are thankful for the many ways they have helped get by.

About 1,500 plates of food were served on Sunday at the Brownsville Event Center for local furloughed employees and their families. The event was coordinated by local businesses and volunteers.

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