NIOBRARA, N.E. (KELO) – It’s been a long four months for people living in Niobrara, Nebraska. The spring floods that plagued the Midwest, damaged two bridges in the region and split the community in half. Not only has it take a toll on residents, but also business owners.
It’s a quiet afternoon at Farnik’s Market in Niobrara. A few customers are stopping by and picking up items.
Ken Farnik is the co-owner. He says since the bridges have cut off access for people in the community, business has been slow.
“It’s really cut our business, probably less than half, because the state park is on the other side of the bridge, the summer homes at Lazy River Acres, and a lot of our farmers, really good customers, it’s hit us bad,” co-owner of Farnik’s Market, Ken Farnik said.
The community has been divided and now people aren’t making the trip into town nearly as often.
“We hardly ever see any of them because they just can’t get here, it’s all the way around and if they want to stay on a paved road, its over 100 miles to get here,” Farnik said. “We fell behind and a couple times our grocery warehouse wouldn’t let us get a truck because we were behind on payments and that hurt.”
Down the road you will run into the Country Cafe, owned by Laura Sucha. In March, her business was hit hard by flooding. In fact the business closed its doors for three months to make repairs.
“We had a lot of water and the whole place was full of ice, the kitchen was totally ice, there was hardly room for the appliances around the ice, so it was pretty devastating,” owner of Country Cafe, Laura Sucha said.
The cafe was opened back up in June, and business has been going well ever since.
“It’s been amazing, we were really concerned that we would have a slower paced summer because we don’t get any river people or park people and it’s been very good for us,” Sucha said.
Now both businesses are looking forward to the bridges to be repaired and the area to be back open.
“We watch the progress everyday on the bridge, and they’re really working hard to get it open for everybody so that will be great when that’s open,” Sucha said.
“We’re so happy to see those bridge guys come to town, that means eventually we will get a bridge across there and be whole again,” Farnik said.