Flooding adds a new layer of trouble for waterfront restaurants struggling through a pandemic

Flooding adds a new layer of trouble for waterfront restaurants struggling through a pandemic
The staff of Cunningham's Creekside have been working to move truckloads of tables, chairs and equipment to higher ground before the Ohio River's rising waters reach the restaurant.
The staff of Cunningham's Creekside have been working to move truckloads of tables, chairs and equipment to higher ground before the Ohio River's rising waters reach the restaurant. (Source: David Mattingly, WAVE 3 News)
As the waters of the Ohio River continue to rise, the outdoor decks at Cunningham's Creekside were already underwater.
As the waters of the Ohio River continue to rise, the outdoor decks at Cunningham's Creekside were already underwater. (Source: David Mattingly, WAVE 3 News)
A truck load of sand was delivered to the Cunningham’s Creekside parking lot in preparation for filling sandbags.
A truck load of sand was delivered to the Cunningham’s Creekside parking lot in preparation for filling sandbags. (Source: David Mattingly, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Outdoor decks at Cunningham’s Creekside restaurant, where people enjoy dining on the water, were underwater by Wednesday morning. Staff had been rushing since Tuesday moving truckloads of tables, chairs and equipment to higher ground.

Cunningham’s has had to evacuate several times before due to flooding, but never during a pandemic.

“We’ve been beat down for the last 13 months,” Cunningham’s owner Brent George said. “And now this is just one more thing where the people who work for me, this is how they earn their living, and it’s just another delay for them getting back to normal.”

There is never a good time for a flood, but this time the timing is particularly bad. In the middle of Lent, there will be no lines waiting for Cunningham’s popular fish sandwiches.

After a year closures and limited capacity because of the pandemic, there was the sense that customers were just beginning to feel comfortable about dining out again. Gov. Andy Beshear has raised seating capacity at restaurants to 60 percent beginning Friday.

George worries about his employees.

“It’s just another delay in them getting back to normal,” he said. “Because we’ve been operating at 50% for such a long time, we’re moving closer to full capacity where, again, this is their income. And after a while it’s just mentally taxing on you.”

A truck load of sand was delivered to Cunningham’s parking lot Wednesday morning in preparation for filling sandbags. By the time the flood water crests this weekend, water is expected to be inside the restaurant and covering part of the parking lot.

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Get the WAVE 3 News app on ROKU, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

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