Weston business submerged in flood water finds way to stay open

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WESTON, Mo. -- What usually is a worry free place filled with cigar smoke and good conversation is now submerged in water.

Bret Sill with Weston Tobacco said about 10 people put in long hours the past few days to move product to higher ground. They were able to save all the cigars and precious military memorabilia from frequent clients.

"The only thing we may have an issue with is just sheet rock, but all that stuff's replaceable. The memorabilia we've had from soldiers that we've had in Afghanistan and Iraq we can't replace that," Sill said. "So that was one of our main concerns to get that stuff out of our shop."

Owner Cory Frisby paddled across the Weston Tobacco, City Hall and Sur-Gro parking lot, which Sill said is about seven feet under water.

"You're sitting there and many times you've spent nights out there smoking a cigar, seeing people pull up saying 'hello how's it going'," Sill said. "And now you see the water slowly rising and you don't see the vehicles there it's just an ambiance that you just can't put into words."

Just across the Missouri River in Leavenworth, Kansas the only building closed due to flooding is the Riverfront Community Center. Leavenworth Landing Park and the trail that are now under water.

"This park will probably be closed for the next 2-3 weeks, probably much longer because we are going to get into the rainy season," Leavenworth City Commissioner Mark Preisinger said.

According to Preisinger this is the highest crest they've had in March and the second highest crest in recorded history - the flood in 1993 holds the top spot.

"We have a wall behind us is 400 ft. Wall that FEMA gave us a grant after the 2011 flood," Preisinger said.

Two-thousand more sandbags, filled by Lansing Correctional Facility inmates, are on standby if they need to build higher. Sill said they're not letting the high water spoil attitudes or business. They opened a make-shift cigar lounge upstairs in their event space.

"We plan on putting everything back and going on with what our everyday business is," Sill said, "It's all we can do."

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