'It's been really a lose-lose-lose situation': Nicholas County still without grocery store 9 months after flood

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Posted at 6:00 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 18:17:11-04

NICHOLAS COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — About nine months ago Nicholas County's only grocery store, a Save-A-Lot, was destroyed in a deadly flood. It now stands abandoned.

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Since then, people in Carlisle have had few other options. Some food items are available at the Dollar General and Family Dollar in town. The Lexington Kroger also delivers to a single drop-off location.

Beyond that, people are forced to drive 17 miles to the nearest grocery store in Cynthiana. The next closest store is 19 miles away in Paris.

"It hurt," Annie Sexton, who has lived in Carlisle for 60 years, said. "I don't think there's anyone that it hasn't hurt."

With gas prices at record highs, Sexton carefully plans her trips to out-of-town stores.

"It's affected a lot," she said. "I don't buy what I used to buy. I watch what I make to see if it'll last a couple of meals."

"Gasoline has jumped through the moon, makes those trips a whole lot more expensive on the individual so it's tough," Mayor Ronnie Clark said.

Mayor Clark said not having a grocery store in town has been especially tough on seniors who now have to rely on others to get food. And with the lost grocery store jobs and dollars being spent on food elsewhere, he said the local economy is also struggling.

"It's been really a lose-lose-lose situation," he said.

But they don't have to dig too deep to find hope. He said a new Save-A-Lot is on schedule to be finished by October.

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"We're so thankful that we're seeing some progress and we hope that it's going to come soon," Sexton said.

"Within hopefully a few months it'll be a bad memory," Mayor Clark said. "It's gone."