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Possible Highway 89 closure extension damages Markleeville businesses

Markleeville clean up after flooding is causing stress for local businesses
Markleeville clean up after flooding is causing stress for local businesses 02:17

MARKLEEVILLE — Markleeville residents met with county leaders, including supervisors and Caltrans, today and were told that it could take several weeks to reopen Highway 89.

CBS13's Marlee Ginter spoke with a business owner about the financial impact of the highway closure.

"Business is really rough, and profits are way down. And we're just trying to come up, keep the restaurant open, and support the locals who have no way of town," said Cameron Johnson, General Manager of Cutthroat Brewing Company.

Cutthroat is one of several businesses now struggling to stay afloat since rain on the Tamarack burn scar, caused by the Caldor Fire, made mud spill into town amid a flash flood.

"This is our busiest time of the year. And so, we were told it would be four to six weeks before the road would be reopened," said Faith Saletti, owner of Stonefly restaurant.

When asked what the extended closure would do to her business, she said, "Well, we would probably lose $150,000 in revenue."

Like other business owners, Faith depends on the summer because that is when business quadruples. But she closed up shop until the highway reopens.

"This is important. There's one road direct in and out, and we can't have it closed," she said.

According to Caltrans, although Highway 89 is closed, visitors can still get to Markleeville from the south via Monitor Pass or using Ebbetts Pass.

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