Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The Democratic-led Senate was ready Friday to approve legislation to keep the U.S. government running, but disputes with the Republican-run lower chamber of Congress ensured that the battle would spill over into the weekend, as a potential shutdown hurtles closer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Life has started to return to normal as the federal government sprang back to life after the 16-day partial shutdown came to a close.
Even the popular panda cam at the National Zoo was back online Thursday, though the zoo itself won't reopen until Friday.
Federal workers who were furloughed or worked without pay during the shutdown will get back pay in their next paychecks, which for most employees come Oct. 29.
National parks removed barriers and welcomed visitors again.
A Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokeswoman says returning employees face a backlog of work, particularly emails from people applying for permits.
The World War II Memorial became a flash point of anger and blame over the government shutdown. Now the memorial is calm and peaceful again.
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