WinnaVegas teeming with life after floods - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

WinnaVegas teeming with life after floods

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SLOAN, Iowa (KTIV) -

Flood waters caused the WinnaVegas Casino to close its doors for forty days.

"Lot of commotion. Everybody was pretty stressed and worried about what was going to go on," said Lisa Burton, a 13-year WinnaVegas employee.

In early June, after hearing warnings about the flood, workers began to clear the casino of its slots machines, electronics and tables. 

People continued to come through the doors and use the facility, despite the warnings.

Sandbags and a berm were set up around the building, to protect the casino from floodwaters.

"We prepared ourselves, we put the berms up, the sandbags. We got everything out of here that we needed to get out and we just hoped for the best," said Joaquin Amaro, a 10-year veteran at WinnaVegas.

Uncertainty was the theme for months. Once those doors were closed on June 9, only a skeleton crew remained to tell guests that the casino was empty.

More than 300 employees were laid off during that time, but most were re-hired when operations were back to normal.

The casino re-opened July 28. Even though the doors were re-opened, customers couldn't use the road leading to the casino. So, WinnaVegas invested in "duck boats." 

"Our regulars...they were here right away. Everybody showed up, just like it was normal, like there wasn't a flood almost," said Kevin Crawford, a security worker at WinnaVegas.

Casino employees say the daily trips on the boats brought them together, but they were especially happy Labor Day weekend. 

That's when they could once again park their cars right outside of the casino.

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