Wine businesses feel effects of flooding, heavy rains

Wine businesses hit by flooding and rain

SCOTT CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Wine businesses in the Heartland are also being affected by the heavy rains and the rising river.

All of this wet weather is bad for growing grapes and also impacts your ability to get to the winery or river-side restaurant that sells the popular drink.

Right now the River House Wine Place near Scott City, Missouri is surrounded by swollen Mississippi river.

Owner Derek Wilson says he monitors the Thebes flood gauges numerous times a day.

“Whatever is going to happen, it’s going to happen and we are ready as we’re going to be," Wilson said. "We’re not going to do any sandbagging, it wouldn’t do any good.”

Wilson says a large parking lot has been flooded for months because of the high water and just last week the restaurant’s outdoor pavilion also went under.

“Well we are still open for our regular business," Wilson said. "Events such as weddings that we have down at the pavilion, we can’t do them of right now and we’ve had a couple of them they’ve had to find other venues for so it has an impact on us.”

Wilson says water went over the only road leading to the River House during the historic flood in 2016 but he thinks it will stay dry this year because of levee breaches.

“The river is at the highest it’s been this season which is 42.71 feet on the Thebes flood gauge and our road will stand 44-feet," Wilson said. "It’s definitely not going to get to the height of 2016 because you can see how wide the river is here. It’s a quarter mile or more wide.”

Four feet of water is over one part of Scott County Road 321 just north of Commerce, Missouri.

It’s one of three ways to get the River Ridge Winery for owner Owner Rob Bullock the other two routes are still open.

“There is other ways to get in and really just hope it doesn’t affect them coming out all the events that we have planned and people will be able to get here and keep showing up,” Bullock said.

While the winery has stayed busy this season with customers, Bullock says all of the extra rain is bad for their grapes and will limit how much wine they can make.

“We’re not going to have as many grapes as we had before if it keeps up," Bullock said. "And the impact can be losing 70 to 80 percent of what you expect in your crop which is a tremendous loss because we don’t get any do-overs. You grin and bear it. You get those great years and then you are going to have some down ones.”

Bullock says he won’t know the actual impact on his grapes until July.

As for the River House, Wilson says they plan to stay open this weekend and will continue monitoring the Thebes flood gauge as the river crests.

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