HEARTLAND FLOOD: Nebraska City businesses feeling the burn from lingering flood damage

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (WOWT) -- High water and broken roads are choking the lifeblood out of Nebraska City.

Word that work to reopen Interstate 29 got under way Thursday came as welcome news for one town to the south where local businesses are feeling the pain from the flooding.

The businesses are on one side of the water and their customers are on the other.

Fort Western Retail Manager Emily Graham said, “We rely on a lot of our Missouri and Iowa customers to come over and support us, so with Highway 2 being closed, we've definitely had an impact from it."

Water has blocked access to Nebraska City from the east for five weeks.

Skip Welsh owns the Table Creek Golf Course. He said, “It used to be a 15 minute drive from over on that side of the river but now it's an over two hour drive to get here. So people just can't afford to do it."

Welsh said his bottom line is starting take a hit.

“On the restaurant side we're down a little more than 20 percent in sales and we're down about 10 percent on memberships because people from Iowa can't get over to Nebraska City."

The water is also a problem for people who work in Nebraska City.

Graham said, “It's definitely put us in a little bit of a bind, worker-wise."

Interstate 29 is another main artery to the town. It too was swallowed by the flood.

Graham said, “A couple of our warehouse employees live on the other side of the river so the one gentleman comes maybe once or twice a week but the one lady isn't able to make it because the time consumed to go and forth isn't worth it."

In a statement Thursday, the Iowa Department of Transportation said they hope to have Interstate 29 open by June, weather permitting.

As for Highway 2, there's no information on when it will be reopen.