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Santa Maria Valley Railroad experiencing some minor delays due to natural disasters

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 23, 2021

The Santa Maria Valley Railroad company has been experiencing some minor delays due to fires and flooding in the Pacific Northwest area.

The railroad company provides daily freight service to customers along the Central Coast.

According to Santa Maria Valley Railroad President Rob Himoto, their customers are mostly related to critical infrastructure.

Items get railed in through Santa Maria such as fertilizer, building materials, and even frozen vegetables, and then get trucked out.

Himoto says 90 percent of the lumber they transport is used in places like San Luis Obispo and the fertilizer helps those in the agriculture industry across the coast.

He adds that just recently they’ve been seeing some delays due to the recent fires in Northern California. More specifically, the Lava Fire.

That fire damaged a major railroad line connecting West Coast states which resulted in Union Pacific closing its lines, adding about a four-day delay according to Himoto.

"The large railroads, they are not really good at communicating when they have problems, so we are trying to keep on top of it for our customers. We have contacts through other railroads that kind of tell us what's going on in other parts of our country so that's kind of where our advantage is," Himoto said.

Himoto says as of right now, there is no clear estimated time when the rail line will re-open but he hopes things will start to pick back up after repairs around September.