East End businesses still in midst of major flood clean-up

Businesses in the East End are still in the midst of a major clean-up after the Flood of 2018. (WKRC)

EAST END, Ohio (WKRC) - The high water is just a bad memory, and life along the once-flooded Ohio River has returned to normal for most people. There are a few places that are still in the midst of a major clean-up.

Businesses in the East End were hit hard. On Wednesday, Local 12 went to three spots that are in a different phase of recovery from the flood of 2018.

At the Riverside Center Antique Mall and Swampwater Grill, there is still work to be done. On Wednesday, a crew was today replacing the electrical system and another crew was working on the plumbing and hot water heaters. The largest dumpster in the parking lot has been filled and unloaded 5 times so far. The basement had 7 feet of water and there was damage to other parts the building. Owner Chris Ornella says, “hopefully we’ll be up and ready to go by next Wednesday.”

It might be a lot longer for Murray's Tavern. There were flood restoration trucks parked outside and a lot of workers tearing down wet walls inside. Owner Mark Murray who rents the building is hoping to reopen by mid-April. “This river is a dangerous place, it’s dangerous. You don’t realize what it does to your life. I don’t think I’d have a bar on the river again.”

The only place that seems to be completely back up and running is The Hitching Post diner. It's hard to believe when you see the before and after pictures that it only took 3 and a half days to demo and repair and remodel. But co-owner Kasey Beck says 28 family, friends and customers volunteered and made it happen. The water was so high that they even rowed a canoe inside the restaurant. “Squeezed in here went over here and then made a joke and took pictures on the spindle wall.” Kasey jokes about a new item on the menu “River Fish come and get it.hah." The Homestyle diner which celebrates 50 years in business this April reopened Tuesday for lunch.

The Hamilton County Commissioners voted Wednesday to waive the building permit fees that flooded home and business owners need to make repairs.

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