By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Jan. 23, 2013 —
That is how most Olive Hill natives describe the downtown area after the 2010 floods decimated the area.
Rather than face the staggering cost of re-opening after the disasters, many downtown businesses chose to close up shop for good, leaving an empty hole not just in the heart of the town, but also in the hearts of its residents.
After two-and-a-half years, however, signs point to a downtown resurgence that hopes to jump-start Olive Hill back to its former state of economic and social vitality.
One need look no further than Railroad Street, once barren and mostly abandoned, to catch a glimpse of the revitalization.
Scenic Hills Realty, the Journal-Times, and a new tattoo shop have all set up shop there within the past month, with even more spaces set to be filled as renovations near completion of several downtown buildings.
Cash Express is one such establishment, which will hold a grand opening on Jan. 28 at its Railroad Street location. As these new businesses have opened their doors, the downtown area has begun to show signs of new life. The sounds of community patrons and shop owners chatting with each other fill the once quiet air, and foot traffic is noticeably more prominent.
Downtown commerce will likely play a large role in Olive Hill’s economic recovery, and new businesses opening their doors have sparked a spirit of optimism that has been con- spicuously absent since the devastation of the two 2010 floods.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.