DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the Raccoon River sprinted well past flood stage Thursday at Fleur Drive, three road closures, one on Fleur from Bell to Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, another on George Flagg Parkway from SW 23rd to Park Avenue and a third on SW 30th from Bell to George Flagg Parkway, put Jasper Winery on a bit of a secluded island from their customers. "It's definitely hard knowing that we probably are not going to see anyone at all," said Alison Boll, an event coordinator at Jasper Winery.
The flooding closures dried up customers Thursday leaving the winery empty but a map on social media hopes to help them pour back in. "You guys can still get to us. It is just a little back-way down a gravel trail. A little bit more adventurous to get to the winery but there's wine at the end so that is always good," Boll said with a laugh.
Making matters worse, the river at Fleur is expected to crest Friday at 19.5 feet. That would be the seventh highest on record as the city expects the closures to last until early next week, potentially ruining a lucrative weekend. Boll said, "Usually on the weekends we have a steady crowd."
In years past it has been a weekend booked with weddings but thankfully not this year. "We have a few private events that we will be having. Some tastings are going on so we will definitely be here ready to serve wine and make up some sangria for everybody who shows up," said Boll.
Despite the setbacks, Jasper Winery is looking at their glass as half full. "Next weekend should be even better, so we are looking forward to warm weather and getting rid of this flooding," Boll said.
Jasper Winery will continue to keep regular hours despite the road closures. Their normal business hours are 10 am to 6 pm Monday-Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. They are closed on Tuesdays.