Judy’s Barge Inn back in business


In Buffalo, Iowa businesses and homes along Front Street are starting to see cleared roads again.

Water surrounded dozens of buildings and in some cases even creeped inside. Judy’s Barge Inn is one of the first places to open after closing their doors for almost two weeks.

“The most important thing is getting back to what we’re supposed to do, serving food and drinks,” said Judy’s Barge Inn owner Judy VanBlaracom. 

On this Mother’s Day, you won’t find Judy VanBlaracom enjoying a spa day or relaxing at home.

Instead, she’ll be working at her restaurant, Judy’s Barge Inn. And it’s the best gift she could receive this year.

“We were closed for nine business days,” said VanBlaracom. 

That’s because the Mississippi River went out of its banks earlier this month.

Hitting several communities throughout the Midwest. Sandbags weren’t enough to stop it from covering a portion 
of Buffalo, Iowa.

“We are a small town and it took out all the businesses,” said VanBlaracom. 

Unlike her neighbors, the inside of Judy’s place was untouched by the floodwaters.

“It was probably one or two inches away from coming through the door, a little nerve-wrecking”. 
“just a lot of water around us,” said VanBlaracom. 

For weeks, that inaccessibility forced her to close the doors to both customers and employees. It wasn’t just businesses affected, the whole community suffered.

“It’s crazy to think alot of people in Buffalo got a lot of water in their basement,” said Judy’s grandson Jaxon Tremaine.

This was Judy’s grandson Jaxon Tremaine first time seeing the city underwater.And quickly learned how dangerous it was. 

“If I was going anywhere I’d have to find a way to get there without going through the water,” said Tremaine.

But life on the mighty river is finally seeing better days ahead.

“We just had a lot of people helping,” said Tremaine.

Roads are no longer swallowed by water and people can try to get back to their normal life.

“You deal with it and move on. You can’t cry over it,” said VanBlaracom. 

Counting her blessings, Judy is happy to be back working and having her grandson around to keep the restaurant in order. 

After all, it’s Mother’s Day the best gifts are truly priceless.

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