Back on the shelves: Perry County bookstore set to reopen following flooding

Published: Feb. 11, 2020 at 3:32 PM EST
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One week to the day after it opened its doors for business, a bookstore in Hazard hastily removed books from shelves as the river across the street flowed into the building.

The Read Spotted Newt opened on January 30th in a low-lying area of Main Street in Hazard.

"I wasn't prepared for that amount of water but I knew it was a risk being here," said Mandi Sheffel, the owner.

Sheffel was aware of the flooding potential, and when the river started to overflow its banks, it was time to get moving.

"As it got closer to the parking lot I started moving everything up," said Sheffel. "I actually moved all of the books out Friday. Although the water didn't reach anything I was afraid of the moisture that was in the building, that the pages would start to wrinkle."

Sheffel cleared the shelves with help from many others. It was a combined effort of Sheffel, the building owners, and the city of Hazard.

That teamwork is why Sheffel knows she made the right decision.

"And again it'll just be keeping an eye on the river. I think that's just going to be part of being part of a business owner down here in the area. I'm willing to take that risk because I'm confident in what's going on downtown. I'm confident in the Main Street renewal so if that's part of it, that's part of it and we'll just deal with it as it comes," said Sheffel.

While her eyes will be on work and the river, she plans to get back to selling books and goods Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.