WinnaVegas closed its doors after county closed the road - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

WinnaVegas closed its doors after county closed the road


SLOAN, Iowa (KTIV) -- Water is gushing over the banks of the Missouri River, letting nothing get in its way.

Friday, Woodbury County officials had to close several roads.

One of those roads meant a Siouxland casino had to shut its doors and laying off hundreds.

It's a race against the water to salvage everything inside the WinnaVegas Casino near Sloan, Iowa.

The casino closed its doors for business at noon on Friday; laying off 400 employees.

"It was a difficult decision to make but we know that the water is rising." Winnebago Tribe Chairman John Blackhawk said.

Vehicles, gaming machines, even furniture is being hauled out of the casino.

"Everything goes out everything does go out," Blackhawk said.

And they have 10 hours to do it after county officials decided it was time to close the road into the casino.

"Our goal is for the safety of the public and the safety of the employees," Woodbury County Engineer Mark Nahra said.

A view from the roof of the casino shows water creeping around from the north and south, not from the west; which is actually closer to the river normally.

"We think the water's followed an old oxbow that comes off the river so its kind of come in from the north side," Nahra said.

But casino officials are confident they won't be losing the building.

"We have this burm here that should protect the facility itself," Blackhawk said.

"I think everybody's done the best job of protection that they can but that's not to say that unforeseen things wont happen," Nahra.

Casino officials tell me they hope this close is temporary for their 400 employees but county officials say it could be 6-8 weeks before we see this road reopen.

Casino officials will meet with U.S. Army Corps and Woodbury County officials next week to evaluate the possibility of reopening that road.


Online Reporter: Katie Gannon

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