DARRINGTON, Wash. -- On most weekday afternoons, Darrington dentist Ryan Johnstun would have appointments lined up like a nice set of teeth.
Monday afternoon, however, he was in his office writing letters to his congressional representatives. The topic:when SR530 will open again.
I'd like them to get some kind of temporary road in. At least let people commute, said Johnstun.
Johnstun and his wife Amanda Harris own Darrington Family Dental but live in Arlington. The blockage of SR530 has forced themselves and their patients to extend their drives.
It used to take us about twenty-five minutes to get to work, said Harris, who works at the office as a receptionist, It currently takes us two hours.
Johnstun,Harris, their son and dog are living in Darrington with friends because of the commute. But instead of being open four days, their office is only open three.
Forty-percent of their appointments have been canceled or rescheduled.
Unless things change, I don't know what we'll do, said Harris, We can't continue this indefinitely.
Within Darrington, there is growing concern with the status of SR530. Everyone agrees the landslide site is a delicate and sacred place, due to the number of victims still believed to be buried there.
However, with little information about the highway's future, many are worried about the impact on business and their job security.
Travis Phelps with Washington's Department of Transportation said options, including a temporary route, are being considered.
We're not just sitting around twittling our thumbs, said Phelps, We're actually working on a lot of future movement here.
We hear the concerns, he continued, We're doing everything possible. But right now, our focus is on that first responder work.
That is something Johnstun and Harris fully respect and understand. Many of the victims are their friends.
As much as they want the road open, they would rather it be opened right.
It's everyone's concern, said Johnstun, What's going to happen to the town.
WSDOThas opened the Mountain Loop Highway south of Darrington to provide another route. An access road for search crews is also open, but not for the public.