MILLER CITY, Ill. (KFVS) - A Miller City, Illinois woman kept her restaurant open despite floodwaters rising for their 3rd annual Crawfish Boil event at the Horseshoe Bar & Grill on Saturday.
Sherry Pecord is the owner of the Horseshoe Bar & Grill in Alexander County. She said she was keeping their doors open to have this event despite the roads currently cutting her business off to traffic.
While customers couldn't drive on the roads to get to the event, they took a new path through a nearby field that took them to the restaurant instead.
Pecord said she was not going to let this flooding ruin this day like it has ruined so many other times in the recent past.
"I'm a little nervous about this situation, but like I said, as long as the field is dry then you can get down here," Pecord said in an interview earlier this week. "And if that is muddy for whatever reason, we're going to put a pontoon boat in. We'll pontoon them down here. Whatever we have to do. We're going to have it and not let this water stop us."
The Horseshoe Bar & Grill was closed a total of 23 days in the month of May Pecord said. So this event was a must for her and her crew to get some lost revenue back.
"This was huge today," Pecord stated. "We were closed for 23 days and bills still come in whether we're here or not. And, this was an expensive event to put on so the turnout is crucial."
Pecord said more than 60 people came out to the event which she called a major success. She thanks all who came out to have a good time and good food. She states it's the customers that help her feel secured with keeping her restaurant going here.
“As long as they’re supporting me, I’m going to be here and open whenever we possibly can,” Pecord said. “My husband worked the field over yesterday, the whole day. Took the tractor and smoothing it out, dragging the water out to make it accessible. The fact that everyone came down here to support us, they’ve always got my back so we’re not going anywhere. We’re going to stay.”
Pecord also lives in the area not too far from the restaurant. She lives across a field from where the Lens Small Levee broke during the 2016 record breaking Mississippi River flood.
During this current flood, she said she has not been able to drive to her home for 82 straight days due to the high water.
Due to their location between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, Pecord measures where the waters will reach by adding both the Ohio River Cairo gauge level and the Mississippi River Cape Girardeau gauge level.
Pecord said she has seen the devastation already done by the water. She also stated it might be a while before even driving home, even after the water recedes.
"I'm really worried that we're not going to have any roads left when this is all said and done," Pecord stated in an interview earlier this week. "We can see different places as we boat and we can see the different places that the water is rolling over that it's gone. Probably at least 6 or 7 places that I can think of right now, between a half mile past my house and up to the other end of the road. It's gone. It's washed out up here. All the roads around here are washed out."
The latest level has pushed up the Cape Girardeau gauge to a crest of 47 feet. Combine that will the upcoming crest at Cairo gauge and it totals 94 feet.
“94 feet doesn’t worry me as far as my business goes,” Pecord said earlier. “If it gets a little bit higher then I will get a little more concerned. It might put it on the road here in front of the bar but at this point I’m not worried about it getting in the bar.”