Local businesses in Isla Vista are feeling the crunch as supplies run low and delivery trucks can’t get through muddied highways.
Many I.V. stores have been unable to restock their shelves since Monday, when mudslides at La Conchita halted the flow of supplies from Ventura and Los Angeles providers. Woody Hall, manager of The Alternative Copy Shop, and Nicole Anter, owner of Grafikart, said the mudslides have kept students who are trapped in Ventura from picking up their readers, and have left the stores without maintenance staff to service their copy machines. I.V. Market owner Lee Johnson and I.V. Deli Mart owner Michael Hassan also said they were running low on popular items.
Hassan said he and his son usually commute from Oxnard to manage the Deli Mart, but the mudslide stranded his son behind county lines and has forced him to work 20-hour shifts and stay in a hotel.
“I can’t get supplies, can’t get food, can’t go home and take a shower,” Hassan said. “You expect the road to be closed for six days in another country, not the USA.”
Hassan said he has not received a delivery since the mudslide and that he has been cut off from suppliers of the specialty Middle Eastern food items he serves.
“The coolers are almost empty,” he said. “It’s not worth it for [the trucks to go around the mudslide]. … Pita bread, falafels and feta cheese aren’t available here. And when you find it, it’s not fresh — it’s old.”
Anter said the closure of Highway 101 blocked students in Ventura’s UCSB Extension program from collecting their readers from Grafikart. Technicians were also trapped behind county lines when one of Grafikart’s two copy machines broke.
“It slowed us down because we got down to one machine,” Anter said. “We had to work until three or four in the morning trying to make up the difference [when printing readers]. … We print for some classes in Ventura and people couldn’t come up here and get them. We had to Federal Express them overnight.”
Johnson said I.V. Market was lucky as they received supplies Monday before the mudslide and were able to replenish their shelves yesterday as trucks bypassed Highway 101. However, some supplies still could not be acquired, Johnson said.
“We’re running low on tortillas, but we got some from Costco,” he said. “We haven’t gotten any Miller [kegs]… If [the highway closure] went on any longer, it would be tough.”