FORT MEYERS BEACH, Florida – After enduring the flood of the century in Nebraska, a couple from Waterloo relocated their business to Florida. Currently, they are experiencing a historic hurricane.
They derive their strength from their Nebraska roots. During the 2019 flood that isolated Riverside Lakes near Waterloo, Nebraska, Tj Holzapfel discovered that natural disasters require tongue-in-cheek tenacity.
Holzapfel stated, “Everyone out here desired to live on an island, but this is not what we were discussing.”
Tj’s physical and emotional resilience are being tested once more.
“We are fearful and frustrated. “Everything you can imagine when your home is 10 feet underwater,” stated Holzapfel.
Tj and Lisa Lahners moved from Riverside to the oceanfront earlier this year. Their Fort Myers RUDE Shrimp Company started in March and immediately began earning honors.
“It was like living the fantasy for those who came from the neighborhood and Omaha when we first opened,” said Holzapfel.
Photos from a hotel across the street taken by friends reveal that the restaurant is in risk of being blown away by Hurricane Ian. A portion of the roof is already located in a parking lot nearby.
Holzapfel remarked, “Husker and I had a Lakers pennant from kindergarten along with all these autographed pictures of our pals, but it’s gone.”
The couple evacuated approximately 100 miles away to Fort Lauderdale, where they only receive restaurant updates by text, images, and messages. Their nearby residence is also in danger.
Holzapfel stated, “But we haven’t seen the house or our belongings, and we don’t know if the cars are there or if anything we had is there, because we just left with our food, drink, and dog.”
Tj and Lisa’s home and business in Florida are flooded by the ocean, but this does not dampen their fiery disposition. Many friends in Nebraska are rooting for them and will call to give assistance.
“They exist and will exist, and we love them all. “We are Nebraska Strong, and we will return,” stated Holzapfel.
Although the couple’s home is insured, the restaurant structure is leased. The majority of the interior decor originated from their restaurant in Waterloo.