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Business returning to normal for those along I5 as road reopens

Even though Interstate 5 has reopened, the five-day closure has had a negative effect on businesses along the highway.

Posted: Sep 10, 2018 6:29 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2018 10:39 AM

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - Everyday, thousands of motorists drive up and down the stretch of Interstate 5 between Redding and Mount Shasta stopping along the way at local gas stations and restaurants.

But when the Delta Fire fire broke out, Caltrans was forced to close the freeway, cutting off the lifeline for many of those small businesses.

Even though I-5 has reopened, the five-day closure has had a negative effect on businesses along the highway.

“Obviously the interstate is a big portion of our business most days, most normal days,” said Nick DeMarco, manager of Ammirati's Market in Castella. “So not having the traffic is a big impact.”

DeMarco says they did have some business from locals and first responders the last few days but it's been a lot slower than usual.

“Fortunately we had them, and so from a business standpoint they helped us, you know to cover costs,” DeMarco said.

Just up the road in Dunsmuir, the popular burger joint Yak’s is still closed and won't reopen until Friday.

The closure not only affected their traffic, but their ability to get supplies and ingredients.

As of Monday afternoon, there were still some exits along I-5 closed to traffic, so businesses there will likely continue to feel the effects of the fire.

With many people taking Highway 299 as a detour the last few days, businesses in Mountaingate and the City of Shasta Lake said they also lost business during that time.

But for Ammirati's, DeMarco says business is getting back to normal since the closure was lifted Monday morning.

“We've already had some traffic stop,” he said. “Even this early, already it's a lot busier than it has been since the highway was closed.”

With that, suppliers were also out and about delivering goods and supplies to local businesses, getting store shelves stocked back up for locals and travelers along the interstate.

DeMarco says even though road closures are something they're used to dealing with, especially during winter, this has been one of the longer ones.

“It's usually a day or two,” DeMarco said. “So yeah, this is an unusually long period of time.”

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