Waspipinicon River Hits Crest, Business Prepared to Stay Afloat

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LONG GROVE, Iowa - The Waspipinicon River hit it's crest Wednesday, September 21, 2016 near Dewitt. The Wapsi is bringing another minor flood to the Scott County-Clinton County border.

The Wapsi is just a few inches over it's 11-food flood stage right now. The National weather service says it's flood warning will stay in effect until Saturday.

The Rive is forecast to be back in it's backs after midnight Friday.

There's one business that sits along that river that has seen flooding time and time again.

The old Fairyland Ballroom has been flooded out several times. This year, new owners finished major renovations while keeping an eye on the rising Waspipinicon.

For owner Lance Jorgensen, running a business near a river is second nature.

“When I bought it (the restaurant) there was four feet of water in it,” remembers Jorgensen

A major remodel prepared Wapsi Willy's for future flooding.

“There was carpet on this floor that got all ripped out to figure out what`s more flood friendly to do this,” says Jorgensen.

Water levels almost topped flood walls outside the restaurant six times this spring.

“Where the river just got right there and we were ready to sandbag and it went back down. We can clear all this water as long as it`s not recycling back on this side,” says Jorgensen.

Jorgensen says when water levels rise, his pumps take out the flooding worries.

“I have pumps out on this side and once it goes back to breach I can pump out the whole yard. It`s tiled around the building and the water from inside the wall drops into this big pit and kicks it back up over the wall,” says Jorgensen.

He also stays on the lookout for rising river levels.

“Probably around 12.3 to 12.4 is when we`re really paying attention. If something would happen it`s not going to be traumatic” says Jorgensen.