Beloved Letcher County grocery store destroyed in flood

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Letcher County was hit with devastating flooding last week which damaged many buildings throughout the area, but the destruction of one grocery store broke the hearts of many.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

The IGA located in Isom is the only full-service grocery store in the area.

“That store has been around since before I was born. I can remember some of my earliest memories going over there and getting stuff like candy bars. All the workers were always nice to me as a kid,” said Greg Taylor, who lived right beside the store.

“The next closest grocery store that’s going to have a full line of groceries... is in Whitesburg which is 12 miles away and then the other one is going to be in Hazard which is 25 miles away,” said Christon.

It is a staple for the City of Isom and loved by the community.

But for owner Gwen Christon, it is her entire life.

“This has become my home. Like I said I started here in 1973 and worked for the previous owner for 25 years. Then they got ready to retire so they sold it to me, and I’ve been here for the next 25 years. I’ve got 50 years total,” said Christon.

The IGA is unrecognizable due to all of the damage inside the store.

“We looked and it was just nothing but water. Just muddy water, and it was almost up to the roof of our building. It was just devastating,” said Christon.

Christon hopes the store can make a comeback for the good of the community.

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