Muddy’s lives up to its name in Burlington

One area restaurant is making the most of the flooding situation.

“I thought I was on a cruise ship,” is how Aaron Lotzow described his dining experience at Big Muddy’s on Monday.

“I saw lots of water.”

Customers were pleasantly surprised to find out it’s business as usual at the restaurant despite the fact that the building is surrounded by water.

“It’s still open bud, come in the back door,” said Ted Fenton, who’s a regular. “Park in the back parking lot.”

The restaurant gives a new meaning to the idea of waterfront dining.

What was once an outdoor beer garden is now just water.

Lifelong residents of river towns like Burlington, Iowa know the importance of respecting the river and all of its power.

They also know when to stand, or sit, in awe of its beauty.

“It’s out of the norm and it’s not a threat, I don’t think, to disrupt people’s lives,” said Fenton.

But, every spring, folks here are reminded what mother nature is capable of and at Muddy’s they’re no stranger to flooding, having suffered through it in 1993 and 2008.

“Both floods I’ve been watching the water rise and watching the community pull together and help us keep the restaurant open,” said Jackie Brockert, the restaurant’s manager.

She says they’ll wait and watch for it to go down.

In the meantime, diners will have quite the view to go with their meal.

“I am just amazed. It’s incredible to think there are railroad tracks, there’s sidewalks, there’s streets out there.”

As of Monday, according to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River at Burlington was more than 22-feet. Flood stage is 15-feet.

It’s receeding, but Brockert says they’ll be holding their breaths until June, when the threat of spring flooding is past them.

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