Watch CBS News

'Look At The Difference': Classic Car 'Roll-Ins' Helping Henderson's Struggling Businesses

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minnesota town that was virtually cut off by spring flooding is on the road to recovery.

The Minnesota River runs along Henderson. In March, fast-rising water forced the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to close most highways into town and the city had to put up a flood wall.

A weekly Classic Car Roll In is helping struggling businesses get back on a roll. Vintage cars and motorcycles roll into town every Tuesday beginning in late May.

"Fantastic. Beautiful weather, beautiful cars, couldn't be better," said Owatonna resident Jo Ann Heidecker.

This is the first time in a long while where things have lined up just right.

READ MORE: Minnesota River Flooding Causes Henderson Business Drought

"Well, it's awesome. The roads are open, it's not raining," said Larry Hanson of Mankato.

Flooding closed roads leading into the town beginning in March. The last re-opened less than two weeks ago -- and it's finally led to something sweet.

"There was hardly anybody coming in town," said Ruth Nytes, owner of Toody's Sweet Treats. "Look at the difference."

The line out the door brings a genuine smile to Toody's owner. This will help make-up for customers lost to the closures.

"These Tuesday nights are very crucial for every business in town, not just me but every business in town," Nytes said.

READ MORE: Wander Minnesota -- Road Trip To Henderson

Henderson Classical Glass made more in one night that it did the whole month.

"It's just be steady all night," said Henderson Classical Glass owner Dee Thomas. "They're willing to walk in and look at stuff, and if they don't buy something tonight they say, 'We'll be back.'"

That's what roll in organizers hope for.

"Our businesses are getting business," said Denny Graham with the Historic Henderson Auto Society. "We always welcome people to Henderson."

The city hopes the Tuesday roll ins will be just as busy through September. And they're counting on Sauerkraut Days the last weekend in June to be a big success.

Spring flooding and storms caused about $40 million in damage across the state. President Trump approved a disaster declaration last week to help pay for fixing roads and infrastructure.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.