Closure of AZ freeway stretch hurting Sedona businesses

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SEDONA - One week after a major winter storm parts of Arizona are still suffering.

Thousands of people are still stuck and many are still cut off by washed out roads.

Others are snowed in. A National Guard flight will leave in the morning for northern Arizona. It will deliver medical and other supplies to storm victims.

Many of the state’s roadways up north are in bad shape. A 10-mile stretch of highway 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff is still closed as of Thursday night and that is having a big impact on Sedona.

On the surface 89A looks okay but the ground below the road is washed out in spots.

The Arizona Department of Transportation closed a 10-mile stretch between Sedona and Flagstaff and continues emergency repairs.

Rod Wigman, with ADOT, says, “We can put a wall up so it won’t cave out."

ADOT officials say they have never seen anything like this in Oak Creek Canyon and the complete repair job could take a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, businesses along 89A are hurting. The Junipine Café lost power for four days and lost a lot of food and have now lost most of their customers. Annette, at the restaurant, admits, “Yeah, there's been a complete drop in biz...all the resorts in the canyon here."

The effects of the 89A freeway closure has rippled all the way south through Sedona. Barry Friedman tells 3TV, “When we have empty spots at stores - not good!"

In the winter the stores count on ski traffic coming from Flagstaff. With those shoppers cut off until the roads are fixed, businesses are trying to lure people up from the Valley.

They are hoping for sun, crowds, and a bounce in business this weekend.

ADOT says they hope to have at least one lane open between Sedona and Flagstaff within a couple of days but 89A will not be re-opened for another two weeks.