One year later: Beattyville remembers flooding, celebrates recovery
Saturday, the city of Beattyville officially re-opened Main Street with a ribbon cutting
BEATTYVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Just over a year ago, historically devastating flooding hit Beattyville. People in the area say they hadn’t seen a flood so destructive in decades. Despite the devastation, the city is celebrating their resilience one year later.
People in the community say there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel after working to rebuild the city for the past year.
“It’s been a long struggle, but I’ll tell you one thing about it. We may be small, but we’ve got the biggest hearts of any town in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Beattyville Mayor Scott Jackson.
In March of 2021, the town experienced flooding that put most of the area underwater, including Main Street, the center of the city’s economy.
Marty Robbins is the owner of Ray J’s Bait and Tackle. He moved from Lexington to Beattyville three years ago, setting up shop on Main Street.
“Everybody’s economy comes from this little street right here. Without it you know…I’m just happy we made it through it,” said Robbins.
It’s taken him almost the entire year to rebuild and find a new location for his shop, which is now located at the corner of Kentucky 52 and Main Street.
“I didn’t know if I could honestly make it back as bad as it was. I mean, you can see that a lot of the main street places are still under construction I mean we basically took it down to the foundations and walls and started all over again with everything,” said Robbins.
He says he’s close to fully re-opening, and is excited for other businesses in town, who are either re-opening or new.
“If you’d been here six months ago, there was a Mexican restaurant, an insurance office, and that was it. Everything was still wiped out,” said Robbins.
This town of about 1,300 people has worked relentlessly over the past year to help rebuild the businesses lost due to the historic floods.
Saturday, the city held a recovery celebration, officially re-opening Main Street.
The destruction is still fresh in the minds of many, but the city is hopeful: Mayor Jackson says there’s lots more work to be done.
“Everything’s looking sunny, but all we gotta do, we gotta keep doing. We just can’t stop hiking up the hill, we’ve gotta get to the top,” said Mayor Jackson.