Buffalo businesses reopen their doors after major flooding

BUFFALO, Iowa (KWQC) - Businesses in Buffalo are reopening their doors to customers after the area saw major flooding in recent months.

Less than two weeks ago the view in Buffalo along Front Street was entirely different.

Residents and businesses were utilizing sump pumps and walls of sandbags to protect from the flooding.

While many had floodwaters creeping up to the edge of their properties, some were not as fortunate, and saw extensive damage.

The owner of Judy's Barge Inn, Judy Vanblaracom, says her restaurant was among the lucky ones, "I feel pretty blessed because I just... it didn't get it inside, we didn't have damages like that. Most all of the damage was outside. I just think there were a lot of people worse off than us."

Unfortunately, like many others in the area, her restaurant had to temporarily close.

The only way to access the restaurant was by boat.

While they waited for flood waters to recede, Judy's Barge Inn was forced to remain closed for 18 days.

All 19 of the restaurant's employees were without work as they awaited the day the doors would reopen.

Vanblaracom remains optimistic and hopes that people are encouraged to come down to the area and patronize businesses that are in the same situation as her restaurant has been.

As for this most recent flooding, she says, "That's what a reality check is."

Vanblaracom says this is unlike anything she's seen before.

Having only been in the area for a few years, she's avoided major flooding around her restaurant until now.

As for other businesses in the area that may not have been as fortunate as Judy's Barge Inn, Vanblaracom says her heart goes out to them. She realizes how lucky they truly are.

This Sunday, Judy's Barge Inn will have live music, along with a bounce house for the kids from 4 to 7 p.m.

The restaurant is hoping for a great turnout.