Some Atwater business owners seeing low sales following deadly tanker truck explosion

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Other businesses nearby said they are also feeling the hit of the closure. Togo's owner Givo Ishaya also said his sales are down 40-percent compared to this time last year. (KFSN)

Sounds of demolition and heavy equipment have become common near the Applegate Road ramp in Atwater. But the sounds of customers are the ones business owners say they're not hearing much of recently.

"I'm just not getting the freeway traffic so that is impacting," said Kamal Dhaliwal, AM/PM owner.

Dhaliwal is the owner of the AM/PM store along Bell Lane, just down the street from where a gas tanker truck burst into flames last Tuesday. The Applegate Road off-ramp was shut down for repairs and since then, her sales are down by half.

Dhaliwal said Memorial Day is usually her busiest day, with cars filling up at all 16 pumps at the gas station, but this year was different.

"Every time I looked up, maybe five cars out there, or 6 cars out there, from 16 to six-- that pretty bad."

Other businesses nearby said they are also feeling the hit of the closure. Togo's owner Givo Ishaya also said his sales are down 40-percent compared to this time last year.

"We've had one of our slowest days since I've opened this last Sunday, so it's taken quite a hit on us."

The driver of the truck, Kimkyo Gnotsavath, was killed-- he was a driver for William Tank Lines. City officials said the truck company's insurance is taking care of repair costs, but less customers for businesses also means less revenue for the city.

"We feel the pain the businesses feel, it's going to affect us the same way it affects them-- no doubt about it," said Scott McBride, Interim City Manager.

Ishaya said Togo's has insurance to cover the loss-- Dhaliwal said the truck company's insurance has contacted her. They say in the end, the life lost is more important.

"It doesn't compare to my sales or anything, it is very sad."

City officials said there's still no set date on when the road will reopen, but say it looks like it may open sometime near June 19th. They also want to keep business owners updated, and plan to put construction updates and claims adjuster information on the city's website.

Related Topics:
businessmerced countyexplosionlost moneyAtwater
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