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Mudslide blocks road leading to a California winery

SARATOGA, Calif. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - A mudslide has completely blocked the road into a Saratoga winery, leaving the owner stranded for weeks.

After a huge section of the mountain descended on this road, Michael Ballard says the only way he can reach his home now is to use these makeshift steps he built into the hillside.

He says he's been stranded for nearly two months and is worried what might happen if he has an emergency.

"If someone were to have a major medical issue, there's no way to get a vehicle on the property to assist," Ballard spoke.

It's not just mud thats descending, the owner of Savannah Chanelle Vineyards says with customers blocked from visiting the winery, his profits are falling too.

"I've got 25 employees out of work, and we are out of quarter million dollars in revenue since this began," Ballard shared.

Ballard says the slide started on his neighbor's property but with trees, rocks and mud falling every day he's frustrated Caltrans isnt doing more to clear the slide to protect drivers on Highway 9.

"This has been a long-standing issue on Highway 9 and Caltrans has done nothing to mitigate the damage," Ballard added.

Caltrans released a statement saying the slide in question "originates at a point well removed from Caltrans property. As a state transportation agency we are not permitted to utilize public funds to resolve this active slide on private property"

Caltrans also says it has removed debris impacting Highway 9, but Ballard says Caltrans hasnt done enough and he is pursuing legal action while he braces for the next storm.

Article Topic Follows: California News

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Dillon Fuhrman

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